Memoirs can be gateways into the minds of some of our favorite entertainers, activists and socialites. While there are countless stories out there to revel in, many powerful Black women in media have made a lasting impression on society. Through intimate confessions about their personal growth, these women are showcasing their career experiences, love, survival, and what it means to be a powerhouse in the mostly male-dominated media entertainment realm.
Here are some of our faves!
1. Elaine Welteroth and her memoir More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say)
Elaine Welteroth is best known as an extraordinary editor and journalist, who transfixed the pages of Teen Vogue with her insightful and conscious articles. In More Than Enough, she narrates how she rose up the career ladder in media. She explores race, personal integrity and the many lessons she’s learned along the way, in this 317-page inspirational memoir.
2. Jenifer Lewis and her memoir The Mother of Black Hollywood
Actor and comedian Jenifer Lewis tells it like it is in The Mother of Black Hollywood. Readers are taken onLewis' childhood journey from poverty, coping with mental illness, sex addiction and her rise to superstardom in Hollywood. Furthermore, in addition to being an amazing actress, this memoir allows her to be a voice for those living with bipolar disorder.
3. Patricia Williams and her memoir Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat
Rabbit is a memoir that highlights the power of love, perseverance and overcoming adversity. Atlanta native and comedian Patricia Williams shares her story of living through environmental hardships, a mother battling addiction and life after becoming a teen mom. Williams mixes brutal honesty with comic relief as she expresses how her hustle mentality led her to comedic success.
4. Grace Jones and her memoir I'll Never Write My Memoirs
Jamaican supermodel, actress and singer Grace Jones takes us back to Studio 54, where she made her grand debut recording disco classics. Her memoir is a glance into her artistic style, personal values and diverse career paths. I'll Never Write My Memoirs even blesses readers with photography from Jones’ very own personal collection.
5. Tina Turner and her memoir My Love Story
The musical icon and legend, Tina Turner retells it all in her memoir My Love Story. Turner takes fans back to her early childhood in Nutbush, Tennessee. The famed musician sets us on an emotional ride through her world of music, crippling abuse and how she regained her strength despite it all. For those who were fans of the cinematic story of Tina Turner in What's Love Got to Do With It, you'll love the rawness and extra layers added in My Love Story.
6. Shonda Rhimes and her memoir Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person
Television producer and film writer Shonda Rhimes recaps her year of saying "yes!" in Year of Yes. In the book, Rhimes incorporates her personal experiences with useful advice on how a year of saying yes changed her life for the better. She is also adamant about getting out of your comfort zone to make incredible life-altering changes.
7. Gabrielle Union and her memoir We're Going to Need More Wine
Actress Gabrielle Union opens up about surviving sexual violence in this collection of essays. We're Going to Need More Wine, blends stories of feminism, bullying and race. Union brings readers behind the scenes of life in Hollywood, showing us that everything that glitters isn't gold.
8. Tiffany Haddish and her memoir The Last Black Unicorn
The Last Black Unicorn shares Haddish's journey from the bottom to the top. Actress and standup comedian Tiffany Haddish breaks down her path to stand up comedy in her laugh out loud anthology. She admits to her frugal spending even after making it big, and why she chose to pursue stand up comedy as a career.
9. Issa Rae and her memoir The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl
Producer and screenwriter Issa Rae started crafting hilarious YouTube specials, which eventually led her to HBO series Insecure and movie roles. The Misadventures Of Awkward Black Girl shares Issa's introverted tendencies, balancing work, having a social life and being awkward in love. Being weird is OK, and Rae wants young Black girls all over to know that there's nothing wrong with being awkward.
10. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and her essays We Should All Be Feminists
Nigerian writer and speaker Adichie explores feminism through her own personal lens adapted from her 2013 TEDxTalk. She examines intersectionalities between race, sexual politics and much more. We Should All Be Feminists is a thought-provoking read that affirms why men and women becoming allies is necessary.
11. Janet Mock and her memoir Surpassing Certainty: What My Twenties Taught Me
Janet Mock is a trans TV host and writer who has worked as an editor at People.com and produced LGBTQ series on HBO and specials on MSNBC. In her memoir, Mock reveals her most intimate moments of navigating sex, love and dating. While pushing her career forward, she learned how to navigate journalism and life in the Big Apple.
12. Simone Biles and her memoir Courage to Soar: A Body in Motion, a Life in Balance
All-star gymnast Simone Biles takes her craft from the mat to paper in Courage To Soar, showing readers how she got her start in the sport that eventually led to her Olympic success. This memoir encourages readers to follow their dreams with strong will and determination.