So, for the last few days I have been pouring myself over my latest book buy, Taraji P Henson’s Around the Way Girl memoir. Funny enough, this is a show that advertising on Instagram works, because I was casually going through my timeline when up came an ad for Taraji’s book. Now, I didn’t even know she had a book much less, but here I was intrigued all the same, and not even 24 hours later I was using my Amazon Prime to ensure a swift delivery. Obviously, this is not a post on advertising or Amazon Prime but these are the two key components to me receiving the knowledge and actually having the book in my hands, so thought I’d share. Anyway enough about that let me get started on my thoughts on Taraji’s new book.
First thing I noticed straight away was Taraji’s voice, straightforward, honest and authentic. It was almost like ‘Cookie’, her character from Empire, was talking to me. And I know your probably thinking, erm Cookie is fictional, so how can her voice be authentic, or maybe you’re not thinking that, but if you are, if you read the book you will know she refers to ‘Cookie’ a lot. She has made Cookie into her own authentic self, breathed life into the character so much so that she has embodied her. So, when I say, ‘it was almost like Cookie was talking’ I mean watch Empire and see how Taraji has developed and created herself into Cookie.
She talks about many things, starting from her childhood to getting to Hollywood. She talks of her father who she learned a lot from even though he wasn’t perfect. You can feel the love radiating off the page as she walks us through some of the shenanigans she got up to with her father. I guess there’s nothing more precious than a daughter and father bond, (my opinion). I won’t tell you guys everything but she talks about her mother and how much she learned from her about being strong, and some of the hardships they had to endure due to living in a rough neighbourhood and struggling to get by on her mother’s salary.
By the end of the book she begins to talk about being black in Hollywood, that chapter is interesting. It touched me to see how far black women, people in general, have come but also opened my eyes to how much more work is needed. She mentions Viola Davis’s 2015 Emmy award acceptance speech, ‘I see a line…’ where she talks about being equal to white women. She praises her for her work in How to Get Away With Murder and she names a whole bunch of other talented black actresses. But what caught my attention was when she mentions there not being enough roles for black women/people to get casted for. Hmmmm, that, I want to say surprises me but I it really doesn’t, and isn’t that a shame?
And to finish off I’ve taken a quote from Taraji’s book, something she said her father always used to say to her: ‘all I had to do was be patient, shut out the noise, and stay focused, and joy will come in the morning.’
I hope you liked my thoughts on Taraji’s Around the Way Girl, It’s a great read. If you luvvvvv you some Cookie then you will want to read this.
Thanks for reading lovlies.
Post comments if you have read the book, I ‘d love to hear your thoughts.
Peace and Love.