Actress/Comedian Jenifer Lewis (co-star of hit sitcom “Black-ish”) tells her story in new memoir + book-signing with Synthia SAINT JAMES


A Book Signing with laughter, music and overall shenanigans featuring Jenifer Lewis with special co-host Synthia SAINT JAMES — Saturday, December 16, 2017, Nate Holden Performing Arts Center (Ebony Repertory Theatre)


[hoot_dropcap]From her more than three hundred appearances in 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.[/hoot_dropcap]

In her book THE MOTHER OF BLACK HOLLYWOOD (Amistad/HarperCollins Publishers) this “Mega Diva” (as dubbed by The New York Times) and costar of the hit sitcom black-ish bares her soul.  At once touching and poignant, and at times sidesplittingly hilarious, this is a memoir 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.

Black-ish-cast with Jennifer Lewis, center

Black-ish-cast with Jennifer Lewis, center

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 that her fans adore, Jenifer describes her transition to Hollywood, with guest roles on hits like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Friends. Her movie Jackie’s Back! became a cult favorite, and as the “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.”

Jenifer is known for her roles in films What’s Love Got to Do with It, The Preacher’s Wife, Think Like a Man and the sequel, Think Like a Man Too, as well as roles on TV shows including A Different World, Strong Medicine, and Girlfriends. She received a Critic’s Choice Television Award nomination for her current role on ABC’s Emmy nominated series Black-ish.

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.”


Jenifer-Lewis-and-Synthia-SAINT-JAMES at Ebony Theatre

Jenifer-Lewis-and-Synthia-SAINT-JAMES at Ebony Theatre

Jenifer Lewis (deemed a “national treasure” by TV has appeared in more than three hundred television and film roles. She currently stars as the spirited grandmother, Ruby Johnson, on the Emmy-nominated ABC hit black-ish, now in its fourth season. Jenifer is a social media powerhouse with well over 100 million views for her viral videos, including: “In These Streets” featuring Brandy and Roz Ryan (May 2016) and “Get Your Ass Out and Vote” (November 2016).  She lives in Los Angeles with her bichon frise, Butters Lewis, and has a drag queen named Shangela living in her basement. FB:;;

Synthia SAINT JAMES is a world renowned multicultural visual artist, an award winning author and/or illustrator of 17 children’s books, several poetry and affirmation books, a cookbook, a play, a monologue, and the autobiographical book titled Living My Dream: An Artistic Approach to Marketing (which was nominated for a NAACP Image Award in 2012). Synthia SAINT JAMES’ USPS stamp designs include the first Kwanzaa Commemorative Stamp in 1997 (a total of 318 million stamps was printed using her first design), and the new 2016 Forever Kwanzaa Stamp celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Kwanzaa holiday. See our latest feature on Synthia SAINT JAMES as Artist of the Week here. Website: 


“Jenifer Lewis is a natural comedienne in the spirit of Lucille Ball. Inventive, smart, and all her bones are ‘funny bones.’ You know the workday will be all fun and spirit when Jenifer is on 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

The Mother of Black Hollywood is inspiring, funny, and boldly transparent. It takes a beyond brave person to write such a memoir. Jenifer Lewis is a true vessel and channel for pure expression…the most honest person I have ever met.”—Brandy

Her memoir is frank, funny, and uplifting, capturing the singer’s authentic voice, her humor, and her profound and bold capacity for resilience. — Publishers Weekly

“Lewis’ years of journaling and knack for recall make for a rowdy, funny, and emotional exploration of her ascendance as a Hollywood matriarch.”— Booklist

“An insightful memoir of Lewis’s road to success and eventual path to self-healing, told with honesty and hubris that will appeal to her wide fan base.”— Library Journal

“The co-star of the hit sitcom “Black-ish” tells her story with refreshing honesty, tracing her journey from poor Midwestern girl to one of the most versatile entertainers working today, racking up more than 300 appearances for film, television and stage. Funny and candid.”— New York Post

Amistad/HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN 13: 9780062410405
$25.99/$31.99; Hardcover; 336 pages
Also available in audio and e-book

Editor’s note: a more in-depth interview is coming for the January/February 2018 edition

Congratulations Amanda Gorman, Youth Poet Laureate of the United States

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