Put on Your Crown: Life-Changing Moments on the Path to Queendom [NOOK Book]


Modeled after Maria Shriver's Just Who Will You Be, Queen Latifah's goal with Put On Your Crown is to help young women build a strong sense of self-esteem. A US Dept. of Justice survey found that females ages 16-24 are more vulnerable to partner violence than any other group, almost triple the national average. Cases like Chris Brown's assault on pop star Rihanna showed an ugly side of adolescent life. However, Queen Latifah has always been a shining example of a woman happy with herself and unwilling to ...
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Put on Your Crown: Life-Changing Moments on the Path to Queendom

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Modeled after Maria Shriver's Just Who Will You Be, Queen Latifah's goal with Put On Your Crown is to help young women build a strong sense of self-esteem. A US Dept. of Justice survey found that females ages 16-24 are more vulnerable to partner violence than any other group, almost triple the national average. Cases like Chris Brown's assault on pop star Rihanna showed an ugly side of adolescent life. However, Queen Latifah has always been a shining example of a woman happy with herself and unwilling to compromise to fit into the "hollywood ideal" of what a confident beautiful woman should look like. The result: She's one of the biggest A-list celebrities in Hollywood.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Rapper, singer, actress, author Queen Latifah is one of the most recognizable and beloved women on the planet. In each of her specialties, she shows her millions of fans what an energetic small-town girl from Jersey can do even when the odds are against her. Like her 1999 autobiography, Ladies First, this mentoring guide draws on the experiences of herself and her friends to lay its life lessons. Put on Your Crown focuses on issues such as partner violence and sexual abuse that pervade our society. A personal lesson in self-empowerment. (Hand-selling tip: Like any other book by Queen Latifah, this book has strong crossover appeal.)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446564717
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 5/6/2010
  • Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 968,227
  • File size: 409 KB

Meet the Author

Queen Latifah was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey. The Queen got her first break in music when a demo tape featuring one of her raps made its way to Tommy Boy Records. She was signed and immediately became a hit. She won the Best New Artist Award in 1990 for her album "All Hail the Queen" which also went platinum. The second single from the album, "Ladies First," was eventually named by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock 'n' Roll.

By the time her second album "Nature of a Sista'" came out in 1991, Queen Latifah had begun investing in small businesses in her neighborhood, and acting both in television and movies. After the death of her brother and a soured deal with Tommy Boy, The Queen released her third album, "Black Reign", and founded Flavor Unit Records and Management. She also landed a regular spot on Living Single and went on to star in a plethora of feature films including: Set It Off, The Perfect Holiday, Taxi, and Bringing Down the House.

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First Chapter

Put on Your Crown

Life-Changing Moments on the Path to Queendom
By Latifah, Queen

Grand Central Publishing

Copyright © 2010 Latifah, Queen
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780446555890



You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.


Looking up at that first mountain summit, more than four thousand feet in the air, I wasn’t sure I could make it. It was at least fifteen miles, and the climb was steep. I’d never done a hike like that before. But there I was, with no choice but to put one foot in front of the other, making sure I didn’t lose the fire trail and go wandering off in the wrong direction, or worse, fall down the side of a cliff. It was seven a.m., I’d been up since five a.m. for a yoga class and a vegan breakfast, and my first thought when I started that trail was, “We’re going over that?!”

This all started early in September 2001, when I booked myself into a hiking boot camp in Calabasas, California, because I wanted to quit smoking. I picked up the habit when I was fourteen and managed to quit a few times, but smoking has a tendency to creep back into my life, especially when I’m working or stressing. A week in a healthy environment, doing nothing but hiking and yoga, was my way of separating myself from cigarettes and going cold turkey. This retreat was just a house in the middle of the woods. There were no stores around. There were no phones, except for a pay phone on the wall in case of an emergency. We all slept under the same roof and shared meals at a communal table. It was a place where people came to get back to some healthy living, lose weight, get in touch with nature, whatever it was. I just needed to be in an environment that was free of distractions, where I could focus on something besides my crazy, hectic lifestyle.

We were expected to hike at least fifteen miles of mountain ranges a day for a week, and that first time out was intense. I was out of shape and breathing hard. But as I continued to walk, I noticed something. I was feeling lighter. My mind was clear of all thought except for the present moment. I didn’t have time to think about all the problems in my life. Or anything else. I was just concentrating on my feet, trying not to trip on a tree root while observing the view, breathing in the cedar-scented air, and enjoying the sights and sounds of the woods. I was back to the primal, the essence of surviving and getting to where I was going.

Eventually, I made it to the top, and when I looked down at the valley below me and the deep blue of the Pacific Ocean in the distance, I couldn’t believe how far I’d come. I felt so strong and powerful. I was so proud of what I’d accomplished. I did it!

That night at dinner, the leaders of the hiking group went around the table and asked each of us to share a thought we had from the day. Everyone had a little story to tell or an observation to make. But when they got around to me, the only thing I could think of to say was this:

“I am stronger than I thought I was.”

I didn’t know I had it in me. There’s more to all of us than we realize. Life is so much bigger, grander, higher, and wider than we allow ourselves to think. We’re capable of so much more than we allow ourselves to believe. Box some seemingly mousy person into a corner and things will come out of her that you never would have imagined. If you push someone out of her comfort zone, she might perform in a way that she never thought possible.

We’ve all got so much more potential in us than we are willing to explore. We’re all capable of second, third, and fourth acts. We’re multidimensional beings, but we have a tendency to get trapped in a mind-set. We all deserve to get to that mountaintop and several more besides. We should be climbing the whole mountain range and enjoying the walk through all its peaks and valleys. And we can, as long as we remember to get out of our own way.

At the end of another one of those hikes, the other boot camp guests and I ended up on the beach in Malibu. We were so happy to be by the sea after several days in the woods, shut off in our own little enclosed world. I starting picking up rocks and throwing them in the water. Then I saw this one stone and did a double take. On it was an image of a man standing tall with one arm down by his waist and the other arm raised in the air with his hand clenched in a fist. It was a fist pump rock! I am not making this up. I believe in miracles, but trust me, I am not one of these people who see images of the Virgin Mary on a piece of toast! This was real. I showed it to the other people in the group, and they agreed—it was clearly a picture of a guy going, “Yeah, I did it!” It was like the universe was sending me confirmation of the message I’d gotten out of that week, and I was in a mental state where I was able to receive that message. In that moment, my mind was free of life’s clutter and my eyes and ears were open to the signs. And guess what? Not only did I lose weight and improve my outlook, I quit smoking. Of course, it all got undone when I got back to New York City two days before September 11. From my apartment across the river in New Jersey I witnessed the attacks, and suddenly my world and everyone else’s had changed. Recividism bit me on the butt, and I went back to my bad habits for comfort. I forgot my inner strength.

Whenever that happens, I pick up that fist pump rock and contemplate its message. It sits on the mantelpiece of my house in Los Angeles, and every time I look at it, I remember what it’s like to feel like Superwoman.

We all need a little keepsake like that, especially these days. I know many of you are losing jobs or struggling to find work. It’s tough for someone who has just faced a layoff. Millions of us are feeling lost right now. This is a scary time for a lot of people. Their industries are dying. Men and women who worked in factories or at newspapers thought they’d have jobs forever. What they thought they’d be doing until they retire may no longer be an option. There’s no such thing as job security anymore. The film and music business are no different. People don’t realize that even if you make a lot of money, you can lose it just as fast. Show business isn’t exactly a steady profession. One day you’re hot, and the next day you’re over. You never know.

One Door Opens…

But that doesn’t mean it’s over. Remember: You are stronger than you think. You have to go past what you think you can do, and then you have to go in and dig up some things inside you. Shake some stuff around. Take a personality quiz online. Tap into who you are as a person and then look around you. Go outside your comfort zone to figure out what you want to try, and when you hit on something that you like, you’ll know it. When you’re not watching the clock and you’re completely absorbed in it, you’ll know that’s something you can dedicate yourself to 100 percent. That’s the difference between a job and a career.

We all have talents and passions that can lead us into a vocation of some kind. A good friend of mine once told me that she didn’t have any talent. I said, “Girl, what are you talking about? Everyone has a talent of some kind. Talent isn’t just being an artist. It can be anything. You’re just not seeing it yet.”

As a matter of fact, I saw what her talent was before she did. When she finished college she got a job managing a Foot Locker store, and she was considered to be one of the best managers in the chain. I knew she was organized and reliable. She had a talent for follow-through. It was the perfect solution. I couldn’t bring my business partner, Shakim Compere, on tour because our business was growing and he needed to stay behind at the office and run all our projects, so I asked her to come on the road with me as my business manager. It took a little convincing. It takes courage to leave behind a steady paycheck and benefits to try out something new. But this girl took that leap, and she proved to be a huge asset. She got the job done, and in this crazy business that’s a talent to be highly prized.

Mad Skills

When I was starting in the business, most people in our crew could rap or do something musical. But not Shakim. He can’t sing a note, and if he tried, you would hear dogs howl. But for two years I watched him. He was the guy who’d leave a party early if he had to go to work the next day. Everyone else would phone in sick or come in late. But he always showed up at wherever he was supposed to be, on time. So when I started performing around the clubs, he was the guy I wanted to handle my business. It’s not sexy to pick up your own money when you’ve finished performing at a club. I’d ask various people to do it for me. Even Professor Griff of Public Enemy collected for me one time. But Sha was the most consistent and dogged about getting me my envelope of cash, counting it to make sure it was all there, and delivering. He has the strength of character to step away from the partying crowd, say no and stick to it, and tell people “Screw you” when necessary. Because of that, he has everyone’s respect. No one messes with him.

At the time I made this decision, I was only seventeen, and Sha was eighteen. I don’t know how I had the wherewithal to know at that age, but making him my partner was the smartest move I ever made. If I have a creative idea, he’ll find a way to make it happen and blow it up even bigger than I could have imagined. He’s the entrepreneur and I’m the artist, but we cross in the middle. Sha can be creative, too. When one of us comes up with an idea, we’ll have a brainstorming session. One of us will say, “Hey, what about this,” or, “I bet we can do that,” and by the time we’ve finished we end up with a big ol’ layer cake. Sha is brilliant at what he does. He has strength, determination, and intelligence, and he knows how to make the most of both our talents. I always tell him that I’m the star out there, but he’s the star in the office. And if he didn’t have the courage to tap into his skills, I wouldn’t have been able to tap into mine and be where I am today.

I don’t care what it is. If you’re good at something and you love it, you’ll find a way to make money at it if you persevere. Whoever started Sprinkles Cupcakes was probably someone who loved making cupcakes. I saw a story on CNN about some girls in Denver who do crochet bombing. Their mothers or grandmothers taught them how to knit, and now they go around throwing these beautiful crochet pieces over lampposts and architectural landmarks and taking pictures of what they created. They even put giant leg warmers on a statue of two dancers outside Denver’s performing arts center. It looked amazing. These girls have a book out, and they’re actually making money off this crazy idea. So someone in that crowd, who maybe wasn’t as good at crocheting as the rest of her crew, was more business minded and started thinking creatively about ways they could tell the world about this new phenomenon they’d started. They said, “Guess what, we can make a video and put it on YouTube! We can go on CNN.” They had their very own Shakim!

It Takes a Team

Most people don’t have so much talent that they can become a success all on their own. We all need people to help us and lift us up. And other people need our help. When you put that together, you can create something really powerful.

When you’re trying to reinvent yourself, it’s important to connect with people who can bring out your strengths or who have strengths where you have weaknesses. You don’t have to do it alone. There are so many creative people out there who are not tapping into their true abilities, and they have people around them who are probably feeling just as lost and scared as they are. Maybe they’re about to lose a job, and they’re wondering what to do next. But if you get together and talk about it, you may be just one conversation away from a great idea. Do some research, go on the Internet, make some calls, put in some time, and have the courage to take it to another level.

And don’t tell me you’re too old to try something new. The best teacher is a great student, so you should never stop learning. I don’t care how old you are. My mother just turned sixty, and she’s taking piano lessons for the first time. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a doctor. I’m not squeamish—I’m fascinated by the human body and anything to do with medicine and the natural world. Anyone would assume that path is no longer open to me, but not so fast. One of my favorite reality shows is TLC’s Trauma: Life in the E.R., and a couple of years ago I saw an episode about a forty-year-old medical intern. Most of his peers were half his age. But he just loved medicine and always wanted to be a doctor, so midcareer he decided to go to medical school. He’s probably the oldest intern in the country and much greener than doctors who are years younger than him, but he has a lifetime of experiences he brings to what he does now, and that gives a whole other level of depth to what he does that his twenty-five-year-old colleagues don’t have. And he brings a passion to his work, because he appreciates this opportunity he’s been given to practice medicine later in life. He’ll be successful because he had the guts and determination to follow his dream and make it happen.

In these times, you just can’t assume that one job or career will sustain you for the rest of your life. Like Oprah said, you have to jump off the ship before it sinks. Don’t be the person who stands there and watches it until it’s bubbling under the water.

Ladies, I know I don’t need to tell you, there is no such thing as job security anymore. That’s why you shouldn’t let a job define you. That’s just a part of who you are, not the whole package. That’s also why you need to diversify. Just like your investment portfolio should have stocks, bonds, a 401(k), and a savings account, you need to mix it up so that if one thing drops, you still have other stuff to fall back on. We’ve known this in the music business for a long time. A rapper who just raps isn’t going to have much of a career. From the time he starts rhyming, he’s thinking about ways to expand his brand with merchandising and endorsement deals—if he’s smart. Record sales alone won’t sustain him for the rest of his life, unless he happens to be Jay-Z, and even Jay makes his money from a million other things besides his music.

I never really planned to do all of the things I do. But I’m one of these people who crave variety. Case in point: I love Asian food and tapas. My friends laugh at me when we go to a restaurant because I always have to order a few appetizers and entrées to share. I always want to taste a little of this and a little of that, especially if it’s something I’ve never tried before. The first time I went to Germany, I sat myself down at a local bar and tried nineteen different beers. Obviously I didn’t drink the whole bottle, but I wanted to sample everything, because I’d heard Germany was the place for beer. I love experiencing all the foods, music, fashion, art, and architecture of different cultures. But half of the people who are with me will eat only at McDonald’s, because it’s what they know and they don’t like venturing into unfamiliar territory. What a waste.

I feel the same way about my career. That’s why I called my last album Persona, with multiple versions of myself on the cover and a blend of different musical styles in each song. It was my way of saying, “You can’t define me.” And there are so many more things I want to try before I die.

Talkin’ About Evolution

People ask me how I managed to reinvent myself so many times over the years. They see all the things I do, and they assume they are second, third, and fourth acts. But the fact is, all the things you see me doing-—my rapping, singing, and acting, the talk show, my brand building—were things I always had in me. I just didn’t have the opportunity to show them all at once.

Reinventing yourself isn’t becoming a different person. It’s bringing out all the things you have inside of you in another way. I knew I wanted to be more than just a hip-hop artist. I thought maybe I’d rap and have my own management business on the side. But you never know where life is going to take you. There are so many roads, and sometimes they lead you to places you’d never imagine. The thing about following your passion and living in the moment is that you’re able to see more openings than most people and have the courage to jump through those doors.

Try Your Best

I was lucky. I grew up in a home where my parents were always encouraging me to try my best and just go for it. Didn’t matter what it was or whether I was brilliant at it, as long as I gave it my all. That made me unafraid to fail. I had the courage to try different things purely out of a curiosity or a passion, and as long as I applied myself and gave it 100 percent, Mom and Dad were always proud. I might have come home cut from a team or upset that I’d stumbled at something, but they’d dry my tears and say, “Did you try your best?” And if I said, “Yeah, I did try my best,” they’d say, “Well then, good for you! Be proud of yourself!” And I was.

My dad, Lancelot Owens, was determined that I would never cower in a corner. If I wanted to try something, he told me to just go out and do it, no excuses. When we were growing up, my father treated my brother, Winki, and me as equals. If Dad and Winki were playing football, I was playing football. If Winki was going to a dojo to take a martial arts course, I was gonna learn a few defensive moves, too. Why not? Because I was a girl? Didn’t matter. Dad wanted to build up the competitor in me. He was a cop and a Vietnam veteran, and he wanted both of his kids to develop a certain strength of character. He wanted me to have the confidence to be able to stand up for myself in the mean streets of Newark. He used to say to me, “Dana, just because you’re a girl, don’t ever let anybody tell you that you can’t. I know you can!” For a black man of his generation, that was pretty progressive. My dad’s always been about equal opportunity. And like equality, opportunity isn’t limited to gender or race or anything else. You make your own opportunities.

The Perfect Partner

My parents gave me the foundation. But I was especially fortunate to have Shakim with me from the beginning. He always knew what I was capable of. We’ve been friends since I was fifteen and he was sixteen going on seventeen. He was a student in my mother’s art class at Irvington High School. He’s seen me sing, rap, act, joke around, and hold my own in conversations with people from all kinds of backgrounds. He’s seen me be outgoing. He’s seen me show up when it was time to show up. He knew me in a way the rest of the world had yet to witness at the beginning of my career. He knew that the acting bug bit me when I was in a school play, and he encouraged me to pursue it. He knew that I didn’t want to be just an R&B singer and that I loved jazz. He knew before I did that I’d be just as capable of hosting my own talk show as I am at developing a new line of cosmetics or perfume or clothing. So what looked like reinventions were really just moments when I had the right time and opportunity to let all these things inside me out into the universe. A lot of the time, Sha’s job is to make sure those doors are open to me. He’s been amazing at providing me with a road to follow.

We all need someone in our lives who can see what we’re capable of and bring it out in us. So don’t shut anyone out. Everyone can be a friend, and anyone might be able to help. There’s an old saying, “A wise person knows many things, but a successful person knows many people.” We can’t do it alone. Other people can change our lives and take us a lot further than we ever thought we could go. That’s what Shakim did for me.

A lot of people in my business are surrounded by yes-men and -women. There’s always someone around you to pump you up and tell you everything you do is great. They blow smoke up your behind and tell you, “Oh, you’re so cool, you’re so funny,” you’re so this, you’re so that. You rarely hear the word “no.” And what that does is create a false identity. When people are telling you “yes” all day, you never get a sense of who you are or where you really stand. But I have real people in my life who let me know. They pat me on my back when I do good and spank me when I do bad. That’s Shakim. He always tells me the truth. He’s my barometer.

I’m very involved in my career and pretty clear about where I stand, but Sha helps me stay close to what the truth is. He lets me know when I’m deficient in something, and he tells me what people think and what the temperature is on certain things. He helps me keep it all in perspective, so I never think I am bigger or smaller than I really am.

Start Where You Are

You need to start with that. It’s important for us to figure out who we are as quickly as possible. We need to be clear on what we are and are not willing to stand for, deal with, or put up with. We need to decide who we want to be seen as. The quicker you figure out your insecurities, deal with them, and learn how to love yourself, warts and all, the better off you’ll be. Because then you’ll be making decisions and choices based upon your authentic self. You’ll have the confidence to chase down your dreams instead of phoning in whatever it is you think you’re supposed to be doing.

I have confidence to spare, but that doesn’t mean I’m great at everything I do. I don’t make a record expecting to go platinum. I make music because something inside me is aching to get out, not because I have to make the top ten on the Billboard charts (although a hit is always nice). My first records only went gold, but they were enough to launch a twenty-year career. One of the albums I did, Order in the Court, didn’t turn out like I’d hoped. To be honest, it was pretty mediocre. The record label was going through a whole regime change, and the album didn’t get the kind of support it could have. And musically, I was trying to do something a little different that didn’t quite work. But I was okay with that, because I know I gave it everything I had, and the experience taught me things that made me better.

My talk show wasn’t a raving success, either. If it was, I’d still be doing it. Things got really heavy with my guests and the studio audience. Every day I felt like a doctor going into the ER, and you lose patients sometimes. It’s exhausting, because after that you have to go home, process what happened, dust yourself off, and come into work the next day ready to save lives again. Again, I tried my best. But you can’t beat Oprah at her game.

Be on Time to the Spot, Get the Look, Nail the Shot

The movies I made weren’t always huge box office or critical successes. Sure, I want them to earn millions at the box office on opening weekend, but it doesn’t always work out that way. I show up on time, prepared and ready to go. I remember my lines, hit my marks, and deliver my performance to the best of my ability, with all the heart, authenticity, and emotion that the role requires. I work well with my co-workers, shoot the stills, go on the press junkets, and do everything I can to promote the movie in every possible way. I can’t say what the studio does or what the director, producer, or some other actor does, but I sleep at night knowing I did my best. If a particular movie doesn’t go so well, I can’t say anything about the audience. Maybe ours was released in eight hundred theaters and another one was released on the same day in two thousand theaters. But two years later, if people find it on cable and decide it’s their favorite movie from me, I’ll know it’s because I did my best. It’s going to show.

It might not be when or how you want it to happen, but you don’t have to feel bad about it. Try your best, then you can let that thing go and try something else. Just be sure to finish what you start. See it all the way through, and don’t give up so easily. It’s human nature to want immediate satisfaction, but sometimes these things work out best on God’s schedule, not your own. And sometimes His plan is a lot more interesting than anything we can come up with ourselves. It’s hard to see it at the time, but maybe losing a job is a blessing, because it frees you up to pursue something that you find more fulfilling. Maybe you wouldn’t have done it if your back hadn’t been against the wall.

Renaissance Woman

You don’t have to love just one thing or have only one career. Don’t be like my scared ass friends when we were on tour in Europe. Don’t take the McDonald’s approach to your life’s work. Sure, the familiar is comforting, but it’s also boring. You’ll miss out on so much flavor in life. Order up a few tapas dishes. Taste something new on the menu!

You can love many things. Give them all the energy, time, love, faith, and strength that you have. Frederick Douglass said that without struggle, there can be no progress. No one ever got ahead by going through the motions. You have to be constantly improving yourself. Make your life the masterpiece you want it to be.

You are multifaceted. As human beings, we have so many sides to us. Use all of your ability and talent and the knowledge you gained along the way that you didn’t even know you had. Do your homework and step out on the faith and conviction that you can do it, and while you’re at it, send up a few prayers. Ask that your path be guided and directed, and it can happen if you can step out of your own way.

Learn what you are capable of, and evolve. Knowing who you are doesn’t mean you have to put yourself in a box. A healthy identity has to be given room to breathe and grow.

I’m not done yet. I will be a work in progress until the day I die. There’s a lot more to this party called life, and I am going to extract all I can until the party’s over. I want to do something great every year and see it through to completion, whether it’s expanding on my acting roles, producing more movies, learning more things, or doing something for others in a way that has a huge impact. I want to learn to fly a plane. I want to write more songs. And many other things besides.

I’m going to stay on this path of self-discovery, even when it’s a steep uphill climb, just like that mountain that seemed so high, I never thought I’d make it to the top. But I did it, and I did it the way I do everything else—step by step, moment by moment. That’s all you can do. Face each challenge as it comes. Don’t look up and let yourself be defeated before you even start. Just focus on the journey, and before you know it, you’ll get there. And when you finally do make it to the top, you’ll feel so proud and so energized, you’ll be ready to conquer that next mountain. You’ll know that it was worth every stumble and scrape along the way. You’ll also discover that, yes, you are stronger, swifter, and smarter than you think.


Excerpted from Put on Your Crown by Latifah, Queen Copyright © 2010 by Latifah, Queen. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer


    Queen Latifah's "Put On Your Crown - Life Changing Moments on the Path to Queendom" is an impressive read geared towards young ladies. I love how Queen shares tidbits from her personal life and experiences in order to help not only inspire and uplift, but teach others how imperative it is for them to take pride in who they are.

    Parents, mentors and neighbors who are looking for something positive to share with their daughters, nieces, cousins and other young women, I highly recommend "Put On Your Crown."

    Celebrate. Make every moment count. Walk tall. Wear your crown with pride.

    Reviewed by: Crystal

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 7, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Act Like the Queen You Are

    Oscar-nominated, Grammy-award-winning actress and hip hop royalty Queen Latifah just released her second self-help book, Put On Your Crown: Life-Changing Moments on the Path to Queendom, last month (Ladies First was her first book, with Karen Hunter). In it, the first hip hop artist on the Walk of Fame takes just under 200 pages to discuss her career strides and life lessons as "a series of moments." I agree with the sentiments mentioned in her introduction about how young women seem to have low morale and self-esteem in this country. I hope that this book combined with her celebrity will lift some of the negativity that females inflict on themselves and other females, especially Black females.

    I read this book in a few hours, and enjoyed its conversational tone and simplistic chapter titles (e.g., "Beauty," "Money," "Joy"). Latifah covers several topics, relating her own career and experiences to life lessons that we all can apply.

    The recurring theme I took from this book overall is to enjoy the simple pleasures of life and not take them for granted-especially when it comes to everyday moments with loved ones. If you want to read some more highlights, thoughts and spoilers about this book, check out my blog, dareesinsights [dot] wordpress [dot] com.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2013

    Very Inspirational

    This is a great book! Could be very useful in working with young women.
    Some great lesson for all ages!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2012

    Incredible 5 star

    Even though you are not perfect god made you to be perfect and he giving you these moments to find out who you are and how you let people challenge you. Give yourself a chance in your one lifetime and see if you can set examples for others because you have learned from yours. This will really keep the disease rate down. Especially for the young teenagers( girls)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2012

    Good book

    And good actor.

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  • Posted March 2, 2012

    more from this reviewer


    The Queen has done it--written a book which will inspire us all to take what we are given in life and use those things to do our best, be our best, and look for the best in other people. While the book may be marketed as an autobiography or memoir, I see it more as a self-help manual. Queen Latifah lets us into the dark corners of her life, from living in the projects to having no money even after she had achieved greatness in her musical career to the death of her beloved brother. She also tells us of the joys in her life and reminds us that the joys are the things we need to hold on to. While the book is aimed at females, men can benefit from reading it as well. There is such an uplifting message that we all CAN be queens; we just need to believe in ourselves. Although there is language in the story which may be inappropriate for some readers, Queen Latifah's words can make a big impact on teen girls.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2011

    Most encouraging book i have ever read

    Most encouraging book i have ever read. It really speaks out to all women. Lets you know that no matter what everythign will work itself out and everything happens for a reason! Would recommend this book to anyone.

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  • Posted May 26, 2011

    A good short book

    This is a good short read for the ladys.

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  • Posted May 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Life lessons that we can all use!

    While I don't necessarily think of myself as a young woman anymore (which is who the book is geared towards) I do think that this book contains lessons that any woman, and even men, should learn. The basic ideas of the book are love yourself for who you are, take time to care for yourself first, and love the people around you for who they are.

    I've always liked Queen Latifah. She's always seemed to me to be fairly grounded. I think my favorite thing about this book is that she proves to the reader that she's just a normal person. She makes mistakes, she's not perfect, and she realizes that. I think she's a great role model. (Side note I LOVE her fashion sense. I have for a while, but my love for her eye was solidified when I read How to Never Look Fat Again and it says something to the effect that if you're a plus size woman dress like Queen Latifah, she knows what she's doing.)

    I've been going through some tough times mentally in the last year or so and reading this book did help me. While it's mostly stuff I already knew (like I said it's geared for young women, and I have left that arena a bit ago) it was information that I needed to remind myself. Somehow reading that "The Queen" was and had been going through some of the same things really helped me find the strength I needed to kick my own butt and get myself back on track again.

    If you're having some self doubt, about anything in your life pick this one up. If you know a young woman pass it along. It can't hurt to try and teach a young woman the lessons we've all had to learn the hard way! It also could be beneficial for some young men. It's written for a woman, but I think the lessons are great for men or women.

    A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher. This is not a paid review and is a truthful and honest review.

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  • Posted August 10, 2010

    AAMBC Book Reviews

    We all know and love Queen latifah from inspiring lyrics, funny movies, and ground breaking work in front of and behind the camera. Proudly we can extraordinary and inspirational author to her list of accomplishments. Latifah paints a vivid picture of trail and tribulation by us through her personal journal. Tackling issues such as body image, becoming a female MC, fling for bankruptcy, lover her mother, and learning to lover herself. Latifah doesnt sugar coat her life and keeps it real and relatable. A great read for all ages.

    Minolta White
    AAMBC Reviewer

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    Posted August 24, 2010

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    Posted August 2, 2010

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    Posted June 11, 2011

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    Posted October 2, 2011

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    Posted July 18, 2010

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    Posted April 3, 2011

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    Posted December 13, 2011

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    Posted September 7, 2010

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    Posted October 1, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2011

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