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Ladies First: Revelations of a Strong Woman Paperback – January 26, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Paperbacks; First Edition edition (January 26, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068817583X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688175832
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #196,965 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"I am not a psychologist or a sociologist," Queen Latifah points out. "I don't have any degrees, and I'm not an expert on life. What I am is a young black woman from the inner city who is making it, despite the odds, despite the obstacles I've had to face in the lifetimes that have come my way." In Ladies First, she talks about the importance of women making the move to be strong and self-reliant, using her own rise to stardom as a rapper and actress as an example. The drive and ambition have been with her since childhood: when she was very young and boys would ridicule her for wanting to play basketball with them, she retorted, "I'm not a tomboy--I'm just an athlete." Later, as a teenager, she would sneak out at night and go with friends to New York City to explore the emerging hip-hop scene, eventually cutting her first single in 1987. She talks about the choices she's made about drugs and sex and how she's learned as much from her mistakes as from her successes. And she addresses, glancingly, the rumors about her sexuality that have dogged her for years, and why she'd rather just ignore them: "I want people to see me as someone who is proud and comfortable with who I am.... Be secure in yourself. You don't need me--or any other public person, for that matter--to validate you." That basic principle, applied to all aspects of life, is the core of Ladies First. --Ron Hogan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Queen Latifah is perhaps rap's most recognizable female artist, having parlayed a successful music career into several high-profile film and television roles. Part of her appeal stems from her relatively unique image, one that eschews spandex and innuendo for a tougher, earthier confidence. Less an autobiography than a motivational tract, this book attempts to impart the philosophy behind Latifah's image and, in so doing, "let every woman know that she, too... is royalty." She does this by basing the narrative loosely around some of the major events in her life: her parents' divorce, her experiences growing up in inner-city Newark, her initial forays into the rap scene and her brother's death in a motorcycle accident at the age of 24. Also included are Latifah's views on drug use, God, romance and sex. Her personal recollections, while frank and heartfelt, serve mainly as touchstones for aphoristic observations on self-esteem and faith; the text is peppered with assertions such as "It's harder to feel bad with your head held high" and "The key is not to rule others but to reign over yourself." While the goal here is inspiration rather than revelation, fans may feel cheated by what's left out. No insights are offered regarding Latifah's music career, creative process or her decision to move into acting; her star-making lead role on the television series Living Single is covered in half a sentence. Ultimately, however, Latifah's positive "be yourself" attitude is infectious, and readers are bound to come away from this book wanting?at least a little bit?to be like Latifah.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

It was very powerful and enlightening.
Doglady1998
I would recommend this book to others interested in her biography.
Marsha L. Edelen
She shared the good, the bad and the ugly.
S. Mitchell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A. Stevens on July 18, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I purchased this book initially to get to know more about Dana Owens but instead I learned more about myself. I took my time reading the book because after every chapter or so I had to stop and check myself. I felt as though Queen Latifah was seated in front of me and reading pages from my life. My life does not come close to hers but yet I felt as though it did. I agree that every now and then as women we must stop and do our own personal inventory. Am I who I want to be and is God pleased with who I am?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By D2XHALE@aol.com on September 20, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book demonstrates how Queen Latifah achieved her dreams against the odds by using her God given abilities. She shows the reader how strong will and good judgement at an early age, made her the symbol of perserverence and strength she is today. Through her journey of living, Queen Latifah vividly takes the reader with her..through the good and not so good times. There are many references throughout the book that serve as inspiration for ALL women, especially the "body awareness" revelations. This is a must read book for character and self esteem building. I would recommend this book to ALL women.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Ladies First is the uplifting story of the author. Queen Latifah is known to be the first female to be a solo rapper and get a record deal. She has also become a top television actress and movie star. She got a Grammy and became the president of her own company. Ladies First is about a girl named Dana Owens who is from Newark, New Jersey and how she becomes Queen Latifah and the things she went through because of a tragic death.
The content of the book is organized pretty well. It starts when her mom, Rita Owens, talking about Queen Latifah's younger days, then moves to Queen Latifah talking about what became of her. The book is quite easy to read. It has vocabulary and slang of a ghetto life style.
The book rates a five stars, as it is extremely interesting to read and written well enough that readers are easily able to become involved. I recommend this book to anyone who listens to her music or understands her lyrics.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Maxine E. Murray on September 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I have Queen Latifah's autography and I LOVE IT and I know almost everything about Queen Latifah that there is to possibly know. Just in case you all don't know her real name is Dana Elaine Owens.Queen Latifah's career has blossomed a whole lot. She has had her own synicated talk show and she also had an acting career and she has starred in movies such as:Brown Sugar, Beauty Shop, Bringing Down The House,Barbershop 2:Back In Business, Set it off just to name a few. I'm a huge fan Of Queen Latifah because she has had to endure the terrible pain of her brother which I think is horrible and sad. But inspite of all of the things that has happened to her in her young life she still strong as she has ever been before. Queen Latifah is also the President of own company Flavor Unit Inc.

Your #1 fan,

Tiffany Miller
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 14, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Initially I wondered what insights a woman so young would have to offer but no more. Her message that family, personal integrity, and self-confidence are the building blocks for a woman is simple but powerful. I also like that she embraces her size and strength as a part of her beauty not obstacles to be overcome. She has a demonstrated track record of success to back up her way of approaching the world. Her story also provides examples of alternative ways of disciplining and nurturing black children for success. She reminds all women that they already possess strength and power because they are. That is well worth reading. I hope all women read it especially her young fan base. I am 34 years old and I was greatly encouraged.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Navy Bean on October 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover
... you're going to love this. This book candidly reveals a lot about Latifah that you probably didn't know. Did you know QL doesn't like celery? Well, Chapter 6 is devoted to finally telling you the whole story. Ever wondered why Larry Storch and Queen Latifah have never worked together? Well, QL tells all in Chapter 28. Ever wonder what hip-hop's first lady likes to think about while shaving her armpits? Look no further than Chapter 87. Refreshingly honest, like the woman herself, Ladies First isn't just about the rise of one strong woman to entertainment's pinnacle, it's also a gripping account of Pete Gray, the first and still only, one-armed man to play in the Major Leagues.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 19, 2003
Format: Paperback
The book was an easiy read. But I felt like there were a lot of blank spots left in between. She really didn't get as detailed as I would have like her too. The book was still interesting, but this is basically an outline of her life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marianne sundin Hestnes on February 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book isn't like most biographies. It isn't another glamorous tale about a flawless mediaperson. It is a true tale about the wonderful person that is Queen Latifah. What makes this book so different, is that she tells you about the mistakes she has made in her life, about her flaws, and about her strengths. You get to know her in a way that isn't possible with most famous people, because you never hear about their flaws. That makes them unreal. But this is a tale about a real person's road to fame. And it is written in a great way. A must read for all her fans, and for everyone that are looking for answers in their life. You can learn a lot from her experience. I would highly recommend it!
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