If you are looking for a good, funny read over the holiday break or at any time, Gabrielle Union Wade’s We’re Going To Need More Wine is perfect. I actually listened to the book on Audible when it first came out as I was a going through a tough time, and Gabby (as I affectionately call her in my head) helped me “get my life” in so many words. I laughed and cried out loud as she shared comical anecdotes and was inspired by her insight. While I loved all the stories, two quotes stood out to me the most, and I decided to share them and why below.
- While Gabby shared many stories that made me laugh, the story of her parents’ marriage and divorce, and then her mom’s life afterward, made me cry.
I see you mom, I see you and what you doing for these kids and how you keep them together. I give you respect because nobody is going to give you praise for doing what Black Women have done forever, raising kids that are not their own. -Gabrielle Union-Wade, Chapter 6 Who Hates You Most?
The above quote is actually the one that brought me to tears out of nowhere. I think those lines are some of the realist words ever to describe Black mothers (whether by birth or circumstances), Black women, and the Black family.
Even now as I write, I’m getting teary eyed again, because I think there’s thousands of Black women and mothers who don’t get the praise they deserve. I thought of my own mother and how she’s helped me with my children even keeping them as I bounced around trying to find my way in life and my career and the toll it must’ve taken on her, because I know how difficult it has been for me personally.
As a lover of fairy tales, I think I was also disappointed that Gabby’s mom never remarried and had the happiness she deserved. When you hear stories like hers, you want her to win AND have love! I’m sure the children she’s taken in love her, but I meant romantic love, that you went through the fire, made it out, and now life is going to treat you type of love. And I write this not just thinking of Ms. Theresa, but also my own mom, and myself as I watch my own children approach their college years and how for my oldest two it’s only been my mom and me there for parental guidance and support.
The wave of panic that if I in parted my knowledge, I would lose in some kind of way. Would I be aiding and abetting myself into force retirement and exile by helping this drop dead gorgeous woman, a better hitter more talented version of me 25 years ago. To be the woman my friends and I are supposed to be, we are supposed to support the women coming up behind us. – Gabrielle Union-Wade, Chapter 15 Get Out ofMy P****
In this chapter Gabby recalls meeting the young actress, Ryan Destiny, who many say is her twin. The Being Mary Jane star shares how she initially felt threatened by the younger actress upon meeting her but practiced what I call “grown woman thinking” and embraced her said to be twin instead, remembering the Black actresses who had helped pave the way for her and many others. Later in the chapter, she named some of those women such as Regina King, Tisha Campbell-Martin Tichina Arnold, Jennifer Lewis, Taraji P. Henson, Sanaa Lathan, Kerry Washington, and Viola Davis.
I totally felt Gabby here. When I look at all the upcoming media personalities, journalists, and bloggers, fresh out of college or high school making moves it can be intimidating. They have a sense of freedom and hope that is untouchable but they are not bogged down by bills, life, and responsibilities yet. It’s very tempting to not want to share the knowledge that it’s taken me seven years and hundreds of losses to gain, but if I really want to empower Black women, it’s imperative to share my insight with them. Remember the strength is in numbers and a really leader is distinguished by those they build up that came after them.
These are only two examples of how We’re Going to Need More Wine, touched me but the book, concept, and all, reminded me of not only the beauty of storytelling, but the healing and growth that takes place because of it. I say that referring to both the story teller and the reader. Listening to Gabby’s stories was a gentle reminder that we as women and then again, as Black women share many similar experiences, regardless of the generations we are born into or the status we obtain.
Reading this book inspired me to pull out my own book I’ve been working on and setting aside for years and just really go hard at writing, and for that I’m very appreciative. If anyone reading knows Gabby, please plug me in so I can send her a copy too. If anyone else would care to share their favorite stories with me, twee me below.