This book. This woman. The stories she tells.
They’re all true, by the way. She holds nothing back.
We’re Going To Need More Wine are the many memorable stories from Gabrielle Union’s life. The book weaves her personal history with powerful social commentary on what it means to be black in America – and a black woman, at that.
It also recounts her rape – in painful detail – and the post-traumatic stress disorder that’s followed.
Union’s been open about her story for decades (before #metoo). But I didn’t know about it. I’m guessing you didn’t, too.
But just as you’re wiping a tear, you begin reading about Queeshaun and her high-school vendetta against Union. And you actually laugh out loud (and pray you didn’t wake up your husband).
Cry. Laugh. Highlight. Repeat.
I was captivated by her writing style. It was like having a long, lazy dinner with one of your smartest friends (with lots of wine, naturally). Union effortlessly transitions from personal stories (filming a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine guest role) with sharp insight on the American workforce, and black Americans role inside of it.
“Bias, whether implicit or explicit, hits every industry. To be a black person is to understand what it is to be automatically infantilized and have it be assumed that you don’t have the talent or the skill set required to do your job.”
On colorism within the black (and hey, Indian!) communities:
“For years, we have advised women of color — light and dark — that the first step to healing is to acknowledge that colorism exists.”
On what it really means to be a woman who works:
“Modern business is set up to squeeze out women who ‘want it all’ – which is mostly just code for demanding equal pay for equal work. But the more empowered women in the workforce, the better. The more that women mentor women, the stronger our answer is to the old-boys’ network that we’ve been left out of.”
On being a (step-)mother to young black men:
“I am also very conscious that I am helping to raise young black men in a world where they are often in danger…I feel it is especially important that our boys, privileged black children in predominantly white, privileged neighborhoods, know these truths. Here they are living in luxury – and here I am to say “Nuh-uh, homeboy. Plymouth Rock landed on YOU. Things aren’t going to be the same for you.” I tell them this when I see that they have their privilege blinders on.”
And the best advice, period:
“You’re just going to have to be bigger, badder, better, just to be considered equal.”
We’re Going To Need More Wine is brutally honest, unapologetic, and necessary for these messed up times.