Maybe You Never Cry Again

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One night, I come in and find my mama in front of the TV, cryin'. And you know how it is when you're a little kid: your mama cryin', you gonna be cryin' in a minute.

What's wrong, Mama? I ask her.

It's nothin', Bean. Sometimes I think sad thoughts.

What thoughts?

She didn't answer. She was lookin' at the TV. Black guy's talkin' to Ed Sullivan. I look at him, but I don't hear but a few words. And I can't make them out anyway, see, because suddenly my mama's laughin' to bust a gut. Her whole lap's shakin'. I got to hold on tight or get thrown clear across the room.

I turn to look at her -- this is the same woman that was cryin' a second ago? -- then turn back to the TV. Who that man, Mama?

She's still laughin'. Takes her a while to catch her breath. Bill Cosby, son. He's a comedian.

A comedian?

What's that?

I look over at this Bill Cosby. I don't know what he's talkin' about -- but I know that, whatever it is, it's got power.

That's what I want to be, Mama. A comedian. Make you laugh like that, maybe you never cry again.

By the tender age of five, Bernie Mac had found his calling: making others laugh. Now this amazing comedian delves deep inside to tell the poignant story of his childhood and the people who helped shape him into the comedian -- and the strong and self-reliant man -- he is today.

When Bernie was just sixteen, he lost his beloved mother to breast cancer. As he was growing up, she was a tough but loving teacher of life lessons and Mac-isms, which would carry him through many hardships: You have to meet all of the challenges, big and small. Because how you start is how you finish. The loudest, clearest voice needs to be the one inside your own self. These lessons gave him the strength to choose hope over despair and to follow his dream of becoming a comedian.

Bernie recounts his slow rise to stardom, from doing stand-up at a church dinner at age eight to performing in amateur open-mike nights to earning a regular gig at Chicago's Cotton Club, and eventually to entertaining huge audiences onstage and in film and on television.

An inspiring memoir filled with hope-restoring humor, Maybe You Never Cry Again is a powerful testament to how a mother's love makes everything possible.

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