Yesterday, for the second time in my life, I had the wonderful privilege of seeing and speaking to actress, icon and Black super heroine– Pam Grier, who was in Harlem promoting her new book: Foxy: My Life in Three Acts. I first met Ms. Grier two years ago at the Black Girls Rock Awards gala at Lincoln Center. She was humble, outgoing, gracious and bad to the bone. Our chat was brief, but her words of encouragement lifted me sky high.
This past Tuesday I caught the woman who starred in Coffy, Foxy Brown and Sheba Baby chopping it up with Whoopi on The View. Whoopi asked, ‘How did you go from being a farm girl to the baddest chick on the planet?’ Pam without pause replied, ‘Well that’s what farm girls do. We hunt, we fish, we know how to use a gun. Farm girls are bad.’ Right then I know I had to see her again and buy her memoir.
Yesterday at Gospel Uptown she was vibrant, humorous and honest. With ease and warmth she recounted painful experiences of her life as a gun-toting Black female super star in Hollywood, her complicated relationships with Richard Pryor and Freddie Prinze Sr., her bout with cancer and how she’s made sense of it all. She says this about Freddie in Foxy:
One night, when we had finished off a bottle of champagne, I asked him if he had brought a condom. It seemed like the champagne was acting as some sort of truth serum when he admitted, ‘I am trying to get you pregnant. I love you, and I’m afraid you may not marry me. You may want out because I’m not cool enough. But if you have my baby, I’ll have a connection to you that will never go away.
I had a chance to ask Pam, who has never married, about her thoughts regarding the recent media hype about Black successful single women being so unsuccessful in love and marriage. The video is a little rough as I was the only one allowed to interview her and mad folk bumrushed and bogarted my session. It was also my first attempt at editing video and I made some mistakes, but her response, for the most part is still intact. Check it: