Tiffany Haddish is inspiring, funny, authentic, and has one of most compelling personal life stories. I appreciate laughter, inspiration, authenticity, and a good narrative, so I follow all of her work. When I heard her book, The Last Black Unicorn, was coming out on December 5th, I waited for its release and schemed my way to get the audiobook at no cost to myself. This mostly just means I came up with a new email address for a free trial with the Audiobooks app. (Yeah, yeah if I was a real fan I would just pay for it, right? That’s not really how book sales work, but I feel you). Regardless, I strongly recommend you get the audiobook as it enhances the reading experience, making it that much more real to hear it being narrated in the author’s own voice, plus there are additional jokes and just the benefit of hearing them imitate the voices of the characters and everything makes it all worthwhile. Get the audiobook.
I thoroughly enjoyed Haddish’s book from start to finish. It begins with her talking about her experiences in elementary school where she was made fun of because her mother didn’t take care of her and frankly, didn’t care for her. She reminds you how mean kids can be in case you’ve forgotten over the years. Haddish then continues to narrate her life from experiencing unwantedness, her mother’s accident caused by her father, which was craaazy and permanently changed things for her, her time in foster care, her tumultuous romantic relationships, and encounters coming up as a comedian who didn’t use her body to gain leverage in the industry. She discusses everything from personal growth in how she responds to conflict to her professional development as a comedian and overall growth as a self-actualized Black woman. She makes connections, through descriptions of her toxic relationships, between confidence
Haddish’s story is honest, hilarious, and often heartbreaking. Haddish shares countless lessons with the reader learned through her hardships. As in her stand-up sets she talks about the importance of finding the beauty in every experience, regardless of how bad things get, there’s always something to take away from it even if it’s just a story about a mistake you made. Haddish articulates throughout the book the importance of being authentic and telling things the way they happened. She even expresses embarrassment for some of the choices she made as a young Black woman lacking in confidence and self-love.
Tiffany talks about the importance of “just getting on stage” by sharing her early comedy show experiences. In the beginning she had some really bad shows and sometimes she was paid for doing a really bad job, but she kept getting on stage regardless and improved through the process. This is an important lesson for anyone who is passionate about an industry and needs to gain skill. You have to get the reps in and it’s not going to be good starting out because you have to learn through that process. Tiffany Haddish did it and now she’s the first Black woman comedian to host SNL, you know?
Haddish’s book does reflect a lot of the same material from her stand-up, which I found a little frustrating because I’ve seen her ShowTime special, I’ve seen her live, and I’ve seen several of her interviews. The book does include intimate details and of course hearing it read in her voice gives a vivid picture and allows you to connect with how she must’ve been feeling at the time. I finished the six hour audiobook in two or so days during the finals week of my first semester as a PhD student, so that speaks to the level of engagement of the book. There are several invaluable lessons to be gained from Haddish and I undeniably recommend any young Black woman to pick it up. The lessons and laughter are endless and I look forward to continuing to follow Haddish’s work and growth.