An interview with actress, comedian, and actor Amber Tamblyn on her new memoir, My Best Friend is Black.
The book, written by Tamblin, is a coming-of-age story about a black woman living in Harlem in the 1960s.
The story follows Tambles character, Kaleid, through the years as she grows up in a New York City that is predominantly white, struggling to make friends with people of color.
The New York Times called Tambylin a “true-to-life memoir” about a “black woman’s journey into adulthood.”
She spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about her book, the legacy of Malcolm X, her new role as an on-camera commentator for the BET Hip Hop Awards, and how the book relates to the Black Lives Matter movement.
How do you feel about the reaction to the book?
I feel like it’s important to talk about racism.
It’s a problem that has plagued black women in this country for a long time.
It has been an issue for a lot of years, but it’s not been an actual problem in my family.
It wasn’t until I moved to NYC and started to really be accepted in the city that my first experience with racism happened.
It was very upsetting.
I think it’s very important to discuss.
You have to have the courage to speak about racism and to be honest with yourself about the things that are hurting you.
I’m not going to talk down to you or try to get you to understand my feelings.
It didn’t work for me.
I can’t do that with other people.
It definitely hurts my feelings, so I’ve got to do better.
I don’t think that I’m a good person, but I have a family and friends and people I love.
I know I’m good, and I’ve learned a lot from this experience.
What I was told about myself was that I was a bad person.
I was an asshole, but that was the worst part.
It hurt me.
And I think that was what led me to this book.
I feel very fortunate that I’ve had the opportunity to talk to people who have had the same experiences as me.
It is a privilege to talk with people who are still alive and in the same situation.
I don’t want to be like, “I’m a bad motherfucker.”
I think we’re a lot alike.
The only difference is that I did not choose my own children.
I chose them.
They’re not the same as my children, and they’re not going anywhere.
I choose my children because I feel like they’re special.
The fact that they have a different experience with the world than I do, and that’s why they’re different, is the reason why I chose to be here.
What has your journey been like since you released your memoir?
It’s been a whirlwind.
I started writing it while I was on tour with a different group of bands.
My manager and I, who are very close, were all in New York, and we were getting ready to leave for a tour.
We were on the bus going to a show and I was sitting next to this young girl who was doing a standup act and she was saying, “You’re a better performer than me, you’re a different kind of artist, and your music is so better.”
She was like, Wow, that’s really cool.
I had a feeling that I could be this amazing performer and this person.
She had never seen me perform, but she was like a super fan of my act.
She was talking about how she wanted to get on stage with me.
She asked if I would sing with her and I went, “Oh, yeah.
I would like that.”
I was so excited because I didn’t know what I was doing.
I wanted to sing with a woman, and she said, “Well, I think you need to go into the studio.”
I said, Well, I’m going to go on stage and try to be funny.
And then we got on the phone and I said my best friend is black, so then we had to talk.
I told her I was gay and that I would love to do this, and then she said to me, “Go into the recording studio.”
And then, just by the way, I had to have her autograph my books.
And that’s the only time I wrote anything else about my life.
And the first book was called My Best Friends is Black, and the book was supposed to come out in 2018, and it came out in 2019, and was never released.
But I never really wrote anything about my personal life, about my friends, about anything that wasn’t about me.
Then, after a year of that, I wrote a memoir, and this book was the next book.
It came out last year.
How is that possible?
I’m like, I’ve been