Pulled From the Archives – An Interview with Jenifer Lewis

Originally published in my newsletter, Shamira explains it all, on July 8th, 2022.

Next Friday, July 15th — also known as Jackie Washington Day — the inimitable Jenifer Lewis will be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The “Mother of Black Hollywood” has had a 4-decade long career on stage and screen, remaining as vibrant and invigorating in present-day as the first mark she ever hit on Julianne Boyd’s Eubie! Most refreshingly, she is remarkably open and forthright — a rarity in Hollywood, particularly for a thespian of her stature.

I had the opportunity to interview Lewis and grab some pearls of wisdom she had gleaned over the course of her iconic life and career nearly four and a half years ago, while she was in the midst of promoting her memoir (she is now promoting her upcoming book, Walking in My Joyexpected to be out on August 30th).

A different version of this transcript had been put together for a publication but killed due to shifting editorial priorities. I kept the audio and hadn’t revisited it for a while, but as I had combed back, I had realized that in our conversation, she had elaborated on the very title that she is using for her newest offering, which was an uncanny full-circle moment I wanted to share with anyone who cared to read.

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