in conversation with Lee Daniels
a discussing her debut memoir,
Ann and Jerry Moss Theatre
New Roads School
Herb Alpert Educational Village
3131 Olympic Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90404
“Mind-blowing. She was able to elevate her personal stories of horror, sadness, violence, insanity into something that people can understand and relate to and see into a world that many of us don’t know.” — Marc Maron
Patricia Williams, the fifth child of an alcoholic single mother, came of age in Atlanta at the height of the crack epidemic. At 12, she had her first boyfriend; by 15 she was a mother of two. Williams wanted to give her children the kind of life she’d always dreamed of, but with no education or job skills her options were slim. Thus began Williams’ lucrative career as a drug dealer. After numerous run-ins with the law and a stint behind bars, Williams decided to turn her life around. She now goes by the stage name Ms. Pat and enjoys a successful career as a comedian. Williams lives in Indianapolis with her husband and three children.
“People say “I laughed and I cried” and it sounds like a cliché. But Rabbit really took me there. It’s everything—poignant, heartbreaking and hilarious—all at once. I couldn’t put it down.” — Lee Daniels, creator of Empire
Lee Daniels is an Academy Award® nominated filmmaker whose work is trademarked by authenticity and candor, providing audiences with a unique and refreshing experience and character insight with each of his projects. His films include The Butler starring Forrest Whitaker as an African American butler who served at the White House during seven presidential administrations between 1957 and 1986; Precious based on the novel by Saphire, which an Academy Award® for Best Performance by an Actress and Adapted Sceenplay. Lee was nominated for Directing and the movie was a Best Picture nominee. Previous movies include Shadowboxer, his directorial debut and the Oscar®-winning Monster’s Ball, his feature film. He also produced The Woodsman and The Paperboy which he wrote, directed and produced. Daniels’ most recent work includes the hit television series Empire for FOX starring Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson, for which he wrote and directed the pilot and continues serves as a producer on the series. This one hour family drama is set in the world of a hip-hop empire that features both original and contemporary music. Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson star, with Timbaland producing the show’s original music. The show premiered in January 2015 and broke ratings records during its first season. He is adapting Patricia Williams memoir for television.
Rabbit was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature
“I know a lot of people think they know what it’s like to grow up in the hood. Like maybe they watched a couple of seasons of The Wire and they got the shit all figured out. But TV doesn’t tell the whole story.” – Ms. Pat
They called her Rabbit.
Patricia Williams (aka Ms. Pat) was born and raised in Atlanta at the height of the crack epidemic. One of five children, Pat watched as her mother struggled to get by on charity, cons, and petty crimes. At age seven, Pat was taught to roll drunks for money. At twelve, she was targeted for sex by a man eight years her senior. By thirteen, she was pregnant. By fifteen, Pat was a mother of two.
Alone at sixteen, Pat was determined to make a better life for her children. But with no job skills and an eighth-grade education, her options were limited. She learned quickly that hustling and humor were the only tools she had to survive. Rabbit is an unflinching memoir of cinematic scope and unexpected humor. With wisdom and humor, Pat gives us a rare glimpse of what it’s really like to be a black mom in America.