Patricia Williams has one of those life stories worthy enough for a show. Well, actually, it will be a show. The comedian who grew up in Atlanta shares her life story in Rabbit: The Autobiogrpahy of Ms. Pat, a biography co-written with Jeanine Amber.
“She approached me with a girlfriend, and the girlfriend was like, ‘Oh, you should write a book,'” Williams told ESSENCE about initially meeting Amber. “I said, ‘Yeah, but I don’t have time. I got a GED, and I got kids at the house.’ She said, ‘Well, my friend is a journalist and she can do it for you.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, everybody say that.'”
Adding, “You know, in this business, you hear all kinds of stuff of what people can do for you. I just don’t believe it. I come from a place where you don’t believe half the sh-t you see and none of the stuff you hear. She [Amber] called me in two weeks and said, ‘I got you an agent.’ Out of nowhere, we were writing a proposal and we sold the book to Harper Collins.”
In the 245-page book Williams touches on every aspect of her rough upbringing that included church hopping to get free food, constantly moving, the welfare system, dealing with an alcoholic mother, sexual assaults, time as a drug dealer, getting pregnant at age 14 and a prison stint.
Williams astonishingly remembers it all in great detail, and holds nothing back— even when it comes to her mother.
“To be honest with you, I hated my mother,” Williams said. “I hated my mother because she looked the other way, there’s so much that didn’t even make the book. When she died, I was 16, I put her in that negligee because she always wanted to look like Katherine Chancellor from The Young And The Restless.”
“When I put her in the ground, I had this knot in my chest. And I’m like, what is this knot? You know you can just feel a certain way? And I said, ‘Oh my god, I hate her.’ And I asked God to show me how to forgive her and that knot went out of my chest and I realized then. I hated her for not protecting me and allowing me to go through all of this sh-t in my life. That’s not what a parent’s supposed to do, but I forgave her. That’s why I can smile today.”
After reading the book, Lee Daniels approached Williams about potentially making the book into a Fox Network television series. But like every other huge opportunity to come her way, she’s staying incredulous and humble.
“It’s a half hour comedy,” Williams said about the project. “I met Lee a year and a half ago and we hit it off good. He’s a great person. I enjoyed working with him, when I do get to work with him on the project and it’s fun. If it don’t happen, it don’t. If it do, it do. That’s how I look at life.”