“I was a grown woman before I found out black folks aren’t the only ones who have hard times. Everybody’s got a struggle. Nobody gets through this life easy.”-Patricia Williams
Growing up, I felt like I didn’t have a unique story to tell. I assumed that everyone had the same story and many of our experiences were the same. Now that I am older, I know better. So many of us grow up with trauma that is normalized. Many never learn how to heal and move past that trauma. Ms. Pat tells us her triumphant story, not sparing the dirty details. This is not a story for the faint of heart.
Reading Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat made me laugh, made me cry, made me remember my own childhood traumas, and it made me proud of Patricia Williams – a woman I have never met. I don’t think many would survive half of what she went through. She was failed by family, failed by the education system, and failed by those whose mission it should have been to protect her. She had two kids by the age of 15. She was a drug dealer. She was abused. She was shot, twice. She took in her sister’s four children as her sister battled drug addiction. This isn’t even half of what Ms. Pat endured. Yet, she persevered!
This autobiography lets us know that we do not have to remain in our circumstance. If we want better, we can work to achieve better. It is OK to get help from others along the way. Her ultimate driving force was that she did not want her children to repeat the cycle that had been set by her family. She wanted better for them and better for herself. She evolved from Rabbit – her street name – to a beloved comedian known as Ms. Pat.
Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat
Patricia Williams, author
New York: Dey St., an imprint of William Morrow 
#OwnVoices at Richland Library is a way for African American staff to provide thoughtful and well written book reviews, book lists and blog posts to promote African American authors and their work about the African American experience. The series invites our customers to learn one more way we are continuing the conversation in our community and speaking our voice. Find more resources on race, equity and inclusion, here.