From stand-up comedian, actress, and breakout star of Girls Trip, Tiffany Haddish, comes The Last Black Unicorn, a sidesplitting, hysterical, edgy, and unflinching collection of (extremely) personal essays, as fearless as the author herself.
Growing up in one of the poorest neighborhoods of South Central Los Angeles, Tiffany learned to survive by making people laugh. If she could do that, then her classmates would let her copy their homework, the other foster kids she lived with wouldn’t beat her up, and she might even get a boyfriend. Or at least she could make enough money—as the paid school mascot and in-demand Bar Mitzvah hype woman—to get her hair and nails done, so then she might get a boyfriend.
None of that worked (and she’s still single), but it allowed Tiffany to imagine a place for herself where she could do something she loved for a living: comedy.
Tiffany can’t avoid being funny—it’s just who she is, whether she’s plotting shocking, jaw-dropping revenge on an ex-boyfriend or learning how to handle her newfound fame despite still having a broke person’s mind-set. Finally poised to become a household name, she recounts with heart and humor how she came from nothing and nowhere to achieve her dreams by owning, sharing, and using her pain to heal others.
By turns hilarious, filthy, and brutally honest, The Last Black Unicorn shows the world who Tiffany Haddish really is—humble, grateful, down-to-earth, and funny as hell. And now, she’s ready to inspire others through the power of laughter.
Indomitable spirit. Which historical figures come to mind when you hear that phrase? Mother Teresa? Gandhi, maybe? Those are two of the people who pop into my head right away.
And now, whenever I hear those words, I will also think of Tiffany Haddish.
I was late to the Haddish fandom. I somehow missed her years of stand up. It wasn’t until I saw the preview for Girls Trip and was like, “WHO IS THAT HILARIOUS WOMAN?” that I became aware of her.
Two days before the movie hit theaters, I saw her on Jimmy Kimmel, talking about how she took Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith on a Groupon swamp tour. If you haven’t seen this interview, do yourself a favor and watch it. Do not drink or eat anything while you do, because the threat of choking is REAL.
So, this hilarious, witty, high-energy woman with an infectious smile was a large part of the reason I watched Girls Trip, second only to the desire to support this glorious comedy with an ensemble of super talented black women staring in a major motion picture (seriously, Golden Globes, how the hell did you snub this movie???)
I’ll just come right out and say it: Girls Trip is the funniest movie I’ve ever seen. If you haven’t watched it yet, do so. We need to support women-driven movies. We need to support women of color in the industry, especially since the industry itself doesn’t. For more on this, check out Jada’s Twitter thread:
Girls Trip was one of the most successful films this summer & Tiff was hands down the funniest person on screen in 2017 and we couldn’t get eyes on the film or a press conference. How could a nom happen & how much more critical acclaim must a movie have to simply get a screening?
— Jada Pinkett Smith (@jadapsmith) December 12, 2017
Seriously, Haddish was robbed. If she doesn’t get nominated for an Oscar, I will lose what little faith remains in the Academy. For me, she stole every single scene that she appeared in. She’s one of those people that your eyes drift to, even when the whole ensemble is together. Because the whole time you’re wondering what she’ll do next.
Okay, so this is supposed to be a book review, but I wanted to include all this background, because it’s what led me to The Last Black Unicorn.
I listened to the audio version of this, and I recommend you do the same, because it’s an EXPERIENCE. Haddish herself is the narrator, and whenever you can listen to someone tell their own story, you should. She brings an emotion and realness to the narration that no one else could. And if you think this is one of those books that you’re just going to laugh your way through, be warned. You’re not.
You’ll probably cry at some point. Hard. Like I did. Your face will probably burn with the strength of your blushes, because you know those horrifically embarrassing memories you have of your teen years? Those stories you’ll never tell anyone, because OMFG I WISH I COULD FORGET THAT HAPPENED? We all have those stories, including Haddish. And she tells them. Without sugar coating anything. I cringed so hard so many times, because it brought up all those times I acted in ways that make me yearn for brain bleach.
Lastly, you’ll probably get so angry while listening to this that you’ll want to punch someone.
Me before this audio book: My childhood was kind of messed up.
Me after this audio book: My childhood was a wonderland of merriment and bliss.
Tiffany Haddish’s childhood and early adult life were…rough. You need to prepare yourself for hearing what she went through. Child abuse, molestation, physically abusive romantic relationships. At one point, she was a pimp. Which all sounds pretty Dickensian and bleak. And it can be, at times. But those times are made bearable, because Haddish is a hell of a storyteller. One minute I found myself in a full rage about what was done to her, and the next, I was hysterically laughing.
That is where my opening statement comes from.
Because after everything that she’s been through, the fact that she is so positive and hysterical and energetic is awe inspiring. This is grade A role model material right here.
I can’t recommend this book enough. For literally everyone. Because I truly do believe there is something here for everyone. I truly do believe that men and women from all walks of life will find takeaways here. That they’ll be inspired by her story. That they’ll apply her lessons to their own lives.
That it will help people going through a hard time to find the light.