Jenifer Lewis discusses her journey in show business in 'Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memoir'

Lewis shares her struggles with bipolar disorder and sex addiction in a new book.
26:25 | 11/15/17

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Transcript for Jenifer Lewis discusses her journey in show business in 'Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memoir'
William ABC radeon of course I am. Excited right now because I have legend. A legend right out in front looking gorgeous in her red. Is. I. I am I am you know gushing if the at the B que antes and of course we got Jennifer Lewis who has. A wonderful and very telling memoir. Out officially tomorrow Tuesday. And of course we all know her. As the mother black Hollywood has now clearly it's a very. Telling title but it's a very truthful and complete Nixie get get. And dive right in because there's so many amazing tidbits that you just you just take us on this journey. And I feel like you start off you know giving this little piece about your mother. And an eagle went to the current and they just kind of bring it's it altogether. And so I want to talk about his journey with you because I I read that you kept quite a few journals and seem to be able to prepare for this talk about that way did you first say to yourself I need to write this well you know. Anything but us. I mean that's what we used to say we keep our wannabes but I really want it could be I am this is uninteresting story this is not in double. When I was about. Six years old Allison of television. And back and those babies. Could be. Commercials. Very vivid. Starving children in Africa that's what it's. And I'm sitting at my dominant. I.'s core. And I sees these every and children with. Flextronics. Them young I don't quite know but. I heard a word starting. And this is how it really happen. I sent them. And I thought. If I can be doing. And if I can be famous. I'll keep them some food. Sleazy. That really is how that happens now I knew it and to gain after that first solo at church when. But I knew to be predicts. So that I that Feed the Children about now you what you grow up. And you realize if you and it just wants. You've done well and I did join the X system and run the program. Later on because Johnny's mother. Was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. That I'd then took her in adopted her in. He's they. Thirty years though right now in her element telling you wearing me out and look like Naomi Campbell cannot fight the boys off but she's wonderful and back. What's my grief. Grief is great. Being a real. And I feel like you. Like you said you have given back in so many ways but do your artistry. And do not only being a mother. In that term but also to out the films and the thing that you've got over the years. And I have to talk some of them because that I ever added mom. I'm proud that her mom in what's love got to do with it too toxic terrorism. Poetic Jeff. And wit. He used his mother in the preachers wife. And it gold on and on you know Gabrielle Union up later mother in law. And that was the hardest than on a different world. O'Donnell in panther and in movie and yet. All the on and on and on and if I wasn't the momma I was the Gramm mama her. Yeah though I mama. Nobody Graham. Which also today currently emit a ruby Johnson who talk. Only Johnson wears me out on black and. I mean every delegate its grip I although what I diplomats say out loud that you know the writers. The riders on the stars of the Chicago. Avenue Tracy Lawrence in the key its we're all back. Riders. When we get these script. And Wi fi that ABC. And Disney. Are allowing Kenya Barrett still pushed the boundaries. To bring up these very. Important subjects. That that have to be talked about in these days a dark. UC police brutality. Inward. And depression. Oh. AM elders scans. They are addressing. All of these issues. All my got ended June teens. The season opened. One when we walked on stage. And flaw the steady. That was built. While the production. Wow we will also move and we knew what we had to do and damned if we. I was so proud of that episode in what did you. Kind of day. When it came at yet that green but aren't. Com. Backed up from. At that while black eyes that I have some green. I because. It. Means many things like that greener passed. Out money well no I. You it has. Nab a bit about money. I've been one of the lucky ones in I have known what I wanted at a very early eighties and honored the gifts that had been given me I really did I try to honor gives ball mind because you know. Give up she'll business would be to give up the of grief and apps to north about it but that's how our role. And the dramatic. What's. And let's pop it just kept coming like you know Wayne this anomaly of you know show at the show at the show you know travel the travel. I live out. Look at it. The heart. The good times and that's why I wrote lol I want people know. It. No matter what it is a bipolar. I have to listen. To a good for and that told me Ginny. Advocates and L. So it's wrong. It took me years to accept. And I. Did have a disease like come at all Jennifer lawless. I need it's age it's mania could do what I do but it became dangerous. The depression was overwhelming. The mania was too much of people a study losing jobs because of it. Because you it's a chemical imbalance in the brain and not really something you can control. I went to talk there. And my therapists. Eventually. Convinced me to take medication. And that's what I want to say to people gotten those odd don't push medication drugs any of that but if you need it it's the failure now. Be patient. It that's the key about it you have to be patient boy you'll level. But I don't think to level every human being is different now when I started taken medication. I had cited six. Dry mouth and I lost my sexual desire. A light on all maybe we don't have the know what if milligram. I don't know what I am about Paula that all know baby. But. Nickel back. And you listened to the experts. And be patient. Les beat Asian but what. Works or you can only tell you my story I can only sing you my sol. You know look in the mirror take responsibility. If some than is wrong. And because. Three this. He. Came. On the office. There is hail or. You know steps and I could be happy I want to joke. And but I did the work and I stayed with that I stuck with you can't drop the ball up closest to stepped aboard an eighteen steps back. Not it's gonna happen overnight but be patient with yourself and I'll tell you this. It's worth. I got a smile mop it maybe that's and that's why I have to write. A right visible. Exactly and I I feel like that's such an important message I mean that's one of the important engine and you happen this book is just briefly on that note. Because of what you're journey has been with bipolar in did order can you talk a little bit. Now as like a mud there. In regards to may be I thought or even what your thoughts armor are to Tyreke because he's kind of been. Vocal about some of the things that he's been going through when he mentioned like the dosage staying too in regard to some of the emotional things that he had going on you know. I'm gonna be really honest with you. Might have met Ty Reese in passing. I have no idea what school increase. And that's true I I can only speak from my own experiences. Yes I mean you know I I kind of wanted cute just mentioned fact that you're. What what you've been saying in what you said inaudible wrote the book I think is inspiring for those who are deeply in what else what I did you know that's what I say you know that message yeah earned just. Take care of yourselves. The me or you know what's going on with you. Nobody else is wearing new shoes. Nobody else and make it okay so it can. Not to get up make a gamma anyways I'm not. I'm well but let. Whoever is suffering from many addiction. You know my addiction with facts. And Lee Berry can. And I'll say it again I had did it ushered it would not do it again no. I was young and thank god I wasn't stabbed or shot ought. Raped in Dole's rooms with those strange to me. Now wasn't completely insane you know I didn't go out yet in. Ripped for a very active. But yeah it certainly didn't. But I want city. And it was dangerous. And my message to women and and now. And house it over and over again pay attention. Paid attention I was scammed two years ago. Current Paribas up or factional con artist. You know and streaked. So what I do I felt that. What. But I was so busy I was in the middle of you know receiving and an honorary doctorate from my arm lemont Webster University. I was busy getting on lifetime achievement award and he came in with all of these lines it's. And you know. Now with lies. Don't even know how this evil sick. And twisted man slip that his weight into my life. But he was her he was masterful. At what he been doing this it was fifty news. And I've been in an out of jail. And rolled up on me with all kinds of lives. I like us soon. Louis I wasn't paying attention. And I take responsibility. For non paying attention. But I did have two sue LA fitness. Because they had not on the federal back tank on the sky he was the manager. And you know want to lies I could go into details but who cares. My message to the people. You know I got through it. That old topic which it hurts. And it hurts but it an act of war article backed up there. And work myself out of that. Wow it it was heart trouble. So. I went public with it. Like I said honey no shame in my game all right please. I've always wanted to help people and in any way I Cain. Don't ethnic but anyway they. And look at that. But. I really have I've dedicated my life to give back. Because I have been some. Irony I've been so fortunate like guys that to know what I won it. So early. But it was Canada who Taiwan. I came out with this. This charisma. And this this. Hearst a mighty. Polite to be better I came from. You know poverty. But I had an amazing mob. An amazing mother in the after a lot of affection lot of coddling but. She was bits. My siblings and myself being duke and darling we all have master's degrees okay. My brother taught in the Saint Louis school district for thirty years then retired. As sister. And think of food gift of thirty years won the big shot at state ball on the big shot at AT&T. Mind month. You know. Dealing with everything that came with goals line. You know so many dark secrets. I always say we are and it's sick. As house. Okay baby so cocktail. It at two. And I did girl went to a noble who. Transparency you hat and I think people youthful and he can always. Send them back at the report's co. And I think I'm. There was any hesitancy. Naming some names and being well it's happened. And come on and we donate call names read the book for that but he added yes I slept with a couple of celebrity's. And yes I sit their names because mostly. It was fun with them. It was romantic. It was memorable. And like us I was selected. With the means that that was way. Also. I'm sixty years ago. Again in the be embarrassed about their I don't care what people think about. The only demo have a wonderful lie and I think that's a lot of people's problem weren't out what somebody else. This book help people. Not I have got as a sign. Unto itself. In the mother black Hollywood my member. That said it it's people love Gus. It. I know the pain ratings peaked. At some point. Without looked every that you've got to grow up. Stop Clinton people down enough pain in the world if it that would gone through all these dark times are right. People are hold an up or it is a doll that. What is all of as far as we've com. I was shopping. With my daughter. Get wardrobe together for this book 20. A woman. In Sherman oaks California. Holland means. In four of my door oh yes honey. And 2007 Dick but she was plain. Circuits that girl out took that woman now. You hear me as a did you just say. In front of mine too. Girl wing. Ian you know what I did. I got to that money to slap and what I did. Is starts screaming. The top of my lungs too dry to drown her out. 'cause Hecht chief stated again. It would have been in office to. I could not believe it but you know what it the wee taste about that kind. He ever learned from. Johnston. Because though she was planned around it could have been a bigger scene kick onto the top. Issue. At. But she wasn't. So what's a new date people. It is a new to me. And let me just say this out lap to anybody that wants to use that word in a negative way. Don't. Just. Don't be. Races. Toward any cooked. We all beat the same color. Be very careful with that. Remember nine. Remember the Holocaust remembered the middle passage. Written all that hair the shootings had gone on America. Settle down everybody. And put the love and a lot. And resist. The forces. That will take that. From your grand babies too Bree. Be very careful. How lovely to about there honey you know this sounds corny but help an old woman across the street. You got Sutton gone on you. The fund took a baby's eyes to look into because you can't think about war if you look and in babies out. Sunrise. Men. Six. Starts trees and flowers darling bind you'll enjoy some way. Because adopting. It. Speaks. You ask you who you are and I think that. You also had mentioned and I think it's very true it's very uplifting your also reaching. Aren't the next 20 absolutely I was my little millennia old all right yeah they laid out in the streets of the police brutality. That are right now I'll give you my story. Because he laid down. And the mother of black holly will my mil more details you now. Stand. Stadium. And resents. About these Neil next generation like Q bar as you stay in the streets with. And everywhere didn't meet. You. I don't want it all a mess with me in bed. I don't. Map that we. AM a. I have let that. Yet aired you know Brett is not an act in a bowl and Rob Ryan. An act and opposed on the Internet thing obviate that Thong and we also think another call a fifty million of us. Will march down south. And we will hair down wow. A gang. Fifty million of us. Will pick up the phone and we will Ansa. The call. Fifteen million of us will do what we have to. To keep all people 350. Billion of us 100 million of us who hugged me and about three. Hundred million Abbas. Will march down for now. That down that wall. In peachtree meets. I feel like you. In your own special way has argued that move would in any grew up DO attic you know what. An alto. Keep. Me. Because. It's. Funny that and I say that to you how I say that I am unstoppable. Because I don't know what else do. I love people. I have been detained them all my life. All right that was at one guide to cost him the story. But I do I've always entertained. People. And you know I can't witness into the gonna do next. My daughter. Charming. She. Walks in the room sometimes. It's kind of Stratton. In fashioning the way Jennifer Lewis it's. A pulled it to the fat one dance that community. In imitate your mom. You make sure you get a Beatles now when you face when you do it. Because you know you have to have that balance. And yeah I'm yes some one of the few people in Hollywood could get away with murder say anything I want ago when diminish kitten is. I don't know terrorist and the little little girl I don't know but it. She trading. Odd people and let me take up this book to law by the mother of black Hollywood my minimal law. Is going so all well let me tell you is it's a great. I don't like right. Yesterday on. I cry. I was so overwhelmed by the joy and allow. The people hat from me but Iona College. Home I got these identical twins they were middle age African American women they were identical twins and they can move to me. And their smile and warm and the appreciation nice on their faces. It chest. Chest. Overtook me. And I kissed held them in song. Because I was overwhelmed soul moved. By how kind people were being in a complimentary about the movies you have done what. Seven. 350. Episodic television shows for Broadway Show those. Enough tool in concert all over the world but you know one. I also had a fight with my daughter went and you know what she's saying I was like. Work hard you say that I'll mark Dodd and I'll lie problem I. She was right. Because I love Livingston and I have so much fun when I do but I asked you know I stale in. I couldn't play he's coming and don't come. Her daughter in all my got you soap. And she loves her captors. You get that's only one I've read I'm not. Because she's like okay but. Now she. She she active but hiding it. And have a lot of time to play while writing this book this book took two years of my. And I say that the into the book a lot of blood sweat and tears and lots of tears I have to relive those dead from the eighties at the you know I hacked to revisit all those strange men in dark rooms. This was not an east to book to write but I gave it. Because one in two Q. Act I know now. I hope to seize on rob again. 10. Larry out heads god I'm writing on the Bible. Live on the show on Broadway and rob it has to be at the black yet but I've gotten long armed arrived. I can't wait to see it make you so much for stopping by AC radio and please everyone you have to eat this book up. It's amazing from the beginning to the and al-Qaeda after geek delve deeper into it because there's so many not it's a student guide need to get into. Thank you so much thank you thank you so speech this Candace signing off ABC radio please pick up. The mother of black holly what this. And it. It.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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