First let me tell you, before I criticize it and give you the wrong message, this book is worth reading.
Now let me tell you why it’s worth reading.
Mr. Eric Bishop (stage name Jamie Foxx) spells out some seriously valuable methods to being a great father, even a great parent as he relates much of his life in the book. So not only do you get the scoop on what it’s like to be him, but you get nuggets of wisdom about how not to mess up your children too bad, how to be there for them, and what children really want (your time and attention).
One of the saddest moments in the book, or in Jamie’s life, is when he’s waiting for his mom on Christmas, but I better not go into too much detail here, you need to read the book to know why he’s waiting for his mom. In contrast, and fortunately, there are many funny and happy moments, some of which involve his mom. He didn’t have a terrible life, even if many of his admitted wounds are still healing.
Jamie is a comedian from Texas, so we should expect some funny, right? Oh it’s there. At several points while reading his book, I laughed hard. People were looking at me like, “What is this guy doing?” and I’d just hold up the book so they could see it, and they’d nod. Oh, it’s that book by Jamie Foxx, of course. Yeah, they knew, and so do you, so go get it, read it and find out what’s so funny.
One of the minor failures in the book, according to me, is that he doesn’t talk about the Wayans. He drops other names like Marvin Gaye and Chadwick Boseman, but he barely even mentions his time on In Living Color. As far as I can find, there’s no biography of the Wayans brothers yet. The closest I could find is a book written by Damon Wayans called Red Hats (a fiction novel). Close enough, I reckon, so that’s what I’m reading next.
In Jamie’s book, Act Like You Got Some Sense, there’s a brilliant chapter which shows the weakness of the idiotic principle of “snitches get stitches”. It goes like this: first he teaches his children the idea, then one of the children wrecks part of his house, then he regrets teaching them because he really wants to know who wrecked his house but they won’t tell him. Comedy in the making, right there. Jamie doesn’t always fall so hard when he’s teaching his daughters, but in that instance it involved some other family members, so he had more than only two to look at as possible suspects. He found out how hard it is to do critical police work when no one around is being helpful.
One other thing that might turn a reader off is that there is a plethora of cussing throughout the book. If you’re not willing to add less-than Southern-hospitality words to your vocabulary, then you might want to skip Act Like You Got Some Sense. Actually, he dives into the idea of getting a better vocabulary when he relates a conversation he had with his daughter about a song containing the word bitch. His daughter asked him if she was one of those, and somehow let him know she wasn’t buying it even if anyone thought she was. Then he goes on to explain how he has empowered his daughters through sports, and teaching them acting, and how to play the piano. Exactly how it should be done. Good call, Jamie.
Regardless of whether you’re looking for parenting advice, or insights into the life of Jamie Foxx, or why he changed his name, or even just something funny to read, Act Like You Got Some Sense is a decent book to spend time reading.