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CULTURE

‘Black-ish’ Star Jenifer Lewis Makes a Stop at Howard University

Photo courtesy of Demetrick Conyers.

Howard University students were greeted with actress Jenifer Lewis who stopped by the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts to talk about how to navigate life as a young adult.

Lewis, known for her role as Ruby Johnson in “Black-ish,” just released her new book “Walking In My Joy: In These Streets.” The book talks about her struggles during the pandemic and gives a glimpse into her personal life. The broadway actress, singer and TV/film star made sure that her book was a direct connection between her and the audience she was trying to reach. 

“My last book, ‘The Mother Of Black Hollywood,’ was for me, but ‘Walking In My Joy’ is for you to enjoy and laugh,” she said. 

She spoke about self-love and meditation and how it is essential as young adults to stop, take a breath and listen. She reminded the audience repeatedly to live every minute as if it were one’s last because one’s youth comes as quickly as it goes. 

“Hearing from Jenifer Lewis today was everything I expected,” Natalia Wilson, junior honors political science major, said. “She is a beacon and a light that commands the attention of everyone in the room. I learned so much from her as she emulates pure wisdom. She has overcome so much and is an example to others that can do the same. My key takeaway is never to let anyone dim my light.”

Lewis was very open about her mental health journey, like overcoming her sex addiction. She spoke openly and passionately about the topics people watch and read about on the news every day. Whether it’s the Jan. 6 hearings or systemic racism against the Black community in America, Lewis confronted issues with boldness. 

“White people do not have a right to protest about anything,” Lewis said. “The metaphor I use for the ridiculousness of what is going on in the world now is on Jan. 6, when they took them on the tour of the Capitol and said, ‘Okay, y’all go in that window, y’all climb this wall and do not worry about that door somebody is going to open it for you,’ what they did not tell them is that the quality of that window is not the same as the ones in your trailer. They forgot who built that building.” 

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Ellison Estwick, a senior TV and film major from New York, believed this was the perfect time for Lewis to come to campus and expressed an earnestness that came from a place of inspiration.

“I think it was just as valuable as seeing how open she was. For a lot of us here, we don’t necessarily have access to our family members readily available here at school,” Estwick said. “So seeing Ms. Lewis at Howard University was kind of like seeing your auntie, that is, if your auntie did high kicks and sang social justice ballads. I’m so excited to start reading her book.” 

“Walking In My Joy: In These Streets” can be found at a local bookstore and on Audible. 

Copy edited by Jadyn Barnett

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