This evening I had the opportunity to attend Barnes & Noble’s author discussion featuring comedian, actor, and newly-minted writer–of the book “I Am the New Black”, Tracy Morgan. I was shocked to find that the majority of the people in the room were white instead of what I thought would be a room full of minorities–black, Hispanic and others. That wasn’t to be my only surprise.
When Tracy walked into the room, he ruled against standing at the speaker’s podium and instead asked if he could sit down at the table usually just reserved for signing books. Once he was seated, he unleashed a side of himself unknown to many. It was the softer, sensitive, more serious side of Tracy. He bared his soul before a crowd of strangers, but he did this in Tracy Morgan fashion. His catharsis was peppered with humor so that we’d never fall too deeply into the pain he felt. For the few of us who dared to imagine his pain, we went all the way in with him. We laughed when he laughed, some may have cried when he cried, we nodded in affirmation, clapped our hands when he shared his lessons learned and just journeyed with him from his cocoon to the birth of a beautiful black butterfly. Having been so fortunate to be in the midst of this movement, I wanted to share some of his words of wisdom from the night. Keep in mind that wisdom, under the Tracy Morgan umbrella, is still meant to make you laugh. It initially made me laugh and then made me say, “Hmm…”
“This book is 198 pages, I’m a 40-year-old black man, do you think 200 pages is enough to tell my story?”
“Every Jewish man has to love one black man (he actually said motherf-er instead of man) in his lifetime. I’m glad that Lorne Michael’s chose me.”
“I love to watch the 10 Commandments because Chuckie Heston is my biological father.”
“As long as you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life.” –His last statement to a struggling comedian.
“You forgive whoever you aren’t on speaking terms with for you, not for them. It’s so you can move on.” –Following talking about forgiving his father for being absent.
“The two greatest words in comedy are Richard Pryor.” –In response to who his favorite comedian is.