The Crusader Newspaper Group

The New 411: The Mega Diva!

By Raymond Ward, Chicago Crusader


Jenifer Lewis is a natural comedienne in the spirit of Lucille Ball. Inventive, smart, and all her bones are ‘funny bones’ and you know the workday will be all fun and spirit when Jenifer is on the set…the hardest part is to keep from laughing …and now she has written it all down for everyone to enjoy. Congratulations, Mother Jenifer, I Love You

….Taraji P. Henson

Jenifer (one “n” as she likes to qualify) Lewis has been deemed a “National Treasure by TV Guide. From her more than three hundred appearances for film and television, stage and cabaret, performing comedy or drama, as an unforgettable lead or a scene-stealing supporting character, Jenifer Lewis has established herself as one of the most respected, admired, talented and versatile entertainers working today.

Now, this “Mega Diva” and co-star of the hit sitcom black-ish bares her soul in a touching and poignant—and at times side-splittingly hilarious memoir, JENIFER LEWIS: The Mother Of Black Hollywood ( Amistad Books, $25.99), in which she tells the story of a Midwestern girl with a dream whose journey took her from poverty to the big screen, and along the way earned her many accolades.

With candor and warmth, Jenifer Lewis reveals the heart of a woman who lives life to the fullest. This multitalented “force of nature” landed her first Broadway role within eleven days of her graduation from college and later earned the title “Reigning Queen of High-Camp Cabaret.”

In the audaciously honest voice her fans adore, Jenifer describes her transition to Hollywood, with guest roles on hits such as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Friends. Her movie Jackie’s Back! became a cult favorite, and as “Mama” to characters portrayed by Whitney Houston, Tupac Shakur, Taraji P. Henson and many more, Jenifer cemented her status as the “Mother of Black Hollywood.”

When an undiagnosed mental illness stymies Jenifer’s career, culminating in a breakdown while filming The Temptations, her quest for wholeness becomes a harrowing and inspiring tale, including revelations of bipolar disorder.

Written with no-holds barred honesty and illustrated with more than forty color photographs, this gripping memoir is filled with insights gained through a unique life that offers a universal message: “Love yourself so that love will not be a stranger when it comes.”

And by the way, Jenifer wants you to know that she lives in Los Angeles with her four-legged friend (bichon frise), Butter Lewis, and has a drag queen named Shangela living in her basement!!!

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