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Arts and Lifestyle

BOOK: Black Hollywood legend pens new memoir
Published Tuesday, January 2, 2018
by Lauren Poteat, NNPA

Jenifer Lewis, affectionately nicknamed “Auntie” in black Hollywood, recently made a special appearance at the Duke Ellington School of Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., where she shared the trials, tribulations and triumphs of her journey to superstardom, while sending a strong message to millennials to stand up and find a purpose.

“There’s no foolproof way to live this thing called ‘life.’ I can’t save the world; I can't save you, and ain't nobody coming to rescue you,” Lewis said. “Do the work, look in the mirror and know this ain’t no rehearsal. This is life.”

Detailing traumatic and heroic moments from her past throughout her special performance, Lewis talked about being molested as a teenager, her first encounter with illegal substances, and growing to understand and cope with a bipolar disorder diagnosis.

“Feel your feelings. If you’re disappointed, you feel; if you’re hurt, you feel,” she continued. “Don’t you stay in a dark room and be quiet ,and if somebody inappropriately touches you or abuses you, you tell somebody.”

Compelled by the actress’s gripping yet comedic words, audience members gushed over the opportunity to engage with the Hollywood legend and to share their own personal stories.

“Ms. Jenifer, I just wanted to say my daughter, she would of been 27, she was bipolar,” one district resident said. “We discovered it when she was 13. When she was about 16 or 17, she heard you talking about being bipolar and it made her feel a little bit more comfortable with her treatment. She didn't get all the way better, she passed away, but I’ve always wanted to meet you just to tell you, ‘thank you,’ for giving my daughter that little extra of amount of time on earth to feel better.”

The always-amusing co-star of the hit ABC sitcom “black-ish,” recently published a deeply personal memoir titled “The Mother of Black Hollywood.”

Filled with comedy, sex, glamour, sorrow, pain and good advice, Lewis’s latest over-the-top production — the story of her life — is a terrific read for anyone who has ever felt like they were ignored, but longed to have a voice.

Lewis said she recently completed work on a new Disney-animated TV series based on the movie "Big Hero 6" and plans to reprise her role as Jackie Washington in the mockumentary "Jackie's Back! 2," that will pick up where the original 1999 Lifetime channel movie left off.




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