The iconic actress Jenifer Lewis stopped by the Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club to talk about everything from her battle with bipolar depression to her giving what she refers to as the “best performance of her life.” Here are 11 things we learned from The Mother of Black Hollywood
Almost Retired: After going through a season of rejection, the “Different World” actress revealed that she almost retired before she landed her role of Anthony Anderson’s mother in ABC”s sitcom Blackish. It was during a conversation she had with herself in her garden that she remembered “even me can’t stop me. You have to be in it to win it. You have to stay up.”
All The Players Should Kneel Together: In addition to Ms. Lewis being a singer and actress, she is also an activist. She is passionate about having all of the players to “go down at the same time” because “we pay your rent you have to honor what’s going on.” Ms. Lewis understands that they are wrongly killing black people and although you have fame and money, that doesn’t matter. “They are pulling your son over…. I don’t care if you are with a white woman and the baby looks white if they have an inch of black blood, they are black and they are going to kill them.” “Your sons and your daughters. They don’t care.”
Led A Walk Out: Jenifer Lewis attended an all black high school where she led a walkout on Angela Davis’s birthday. She didn’t know anything about Angela expect that she had an afro but thought it was the right thing to do because “they give us George Washington’s birthday off.”
Bi-polar: Jenifer went through a period in life where she wanted to be seen. One day she grew tired of “wearing the mask” so started going to theory and educating herself and realizing that she was suffering from bi-polar disorder. The dream of becoming a superstar is what sustained Jennifer, through the disorder and sex addition.
One True Love: Jenifer meet the “love of her life,” a mathematician named Miguel, while they were in college. She was a freshman and he was working on his second master’s. “He was very sweet and spiritual, I was very fascinated with him.”
Talked Herself Out Of Rape: Jenifer recounted the time she talked herself out of rape, what she refers to as “The greatest performance of my life.” A random guy who just had gotten out of jail came into Jennifer’s house with a knife. “He wasn’t mean he just wanted to hurt somebody.”
Singing was her first love: When Jenifer was five years old she sung her first solo in church, “Lord You Brought Me a Mighty Long Way, “once she got a taste of praise and attention, she “never looked back.”
Never Married: Although Jenifer chose to marry her career instead of a man doesn’t mean she hasn’t been engaged. Over the years Ms. Lewis was engaged four times. She also has daughter whom she met through the Big Sister/Big Brother program. After her “little sister’s” mother was diagnosed with multiple scoliosis, Jennifer adopted her.
Killa: In high school Jennifer was a bully, which earned her the nickname “Killa.”
Conned: Ms. Lewis was conned out of $50,000 by Tony Marriot Wilson. Jenifer didn’t realize she was dating a con man until her friend ran a background check on Marriot that showed he had been in jail for fraud.
Molested by the Pastor: One a trip back home from visiting another church, halfway home Jenifer asked her pastor “do you think I can be a star?” He then pulled the car over and attempted to kiss Jenifer and he stuck his hand down her shirt but she resisted
You can purchase “The Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memoir” on Amazon. Make sure to check out Jennifer Lewis’s full interview here,