I’ve always liked Gabrielle Union. I haven’t exactly followed her career, and didn’t even realize she had a television series, but whenever I see her in a preview or realize she is in a movie I am interested in, I always view it as a positive. I also know she played teenagers for a good portion of her career because she is genetically blessed, and I also thought her story line in Think Like a Man was ridiculous because of all the guys in that movie, it was insane that she would have been paired with the guy she got. It was like King of Queens/schlubby guy-hot wife syndrome on steroids.
We’re Going to Need More Wine is more of an essay collection than a straight up memoir, and I can’t think of another celebrity memoir that felt this open off the top of my head. Union shares all her flaws, holding a mirror to herself with unflinching honesty and letting the reader learn from her lessons. She talks about her competitiveness and cattiness, and how she had to learn to be more supportive of other women rather than tearing them down. She has some hilarious dating stories, and she was absolutely ruthless as a teenager when it came to dating, stealing the occasional boyfriend and cheating on others. I honestly couldn’t believe how willing she was to open herself to scrutiny with some of the stories she shared.
She also talks about growing up in California as one of the only black girls in her white school, and the culture shock she experienced when visiting her grandmother and cousin in Omaha. The first time she visited, Union was asked to bring recordings of California radio stations, and her cousin and her friends stare on in disbelief when they realize Union recorded white pop, including Whitesnake and Tiffany. Union is grateful for those summers since they helped broaden her perspective, which could have otherwise been very limited.
She also talks about her fertility issues, her love for her step-sons, and the fear she feels for them as young black men. In fact, as sons as a famous basketball player, she tells them to start any conversation with the police with mentioning their father.
I appreciated Union’s honesty, her courage and bravery but I have to admit some of her stories, especially regarding relationships, made me a bit uncomfortable, and I feel like that demonstrates some of my own internalized prejudcies about relationships and sex. I appreciated when she talked about her single girlfriends, and mentioned how the one felt invisible because that is definitely a sentiment I can relate to more than I want.