DETROIT – Mo’Nique is known as one of the original Queens of Comedy.
The comedian and Oscar winning actress was in Detroit and sat down with Local 4 this week for an open discussion about Black History Month.
“I celebrate my blackness 365 days a year,” said Mo’Nique. “I refuse to let you give me 28 days to celebrate how great my people were. So for me Black History Month is today, it’s going to be tomorrow, it’s gonna be June 5th. It’s gonna be October 7th. It’s gonna be November 23rd, because if you pull up any of those days you’ll see the greatness of who we are.”
- View more: Black History Month special section
It’s safe to say for Mo’Nique Black History Month is every day. Besides the awards, TV shows, tours and more she’s accomplished, she’s made history herself as the first black female comedian to get a Las Vegas residency.
“For my place in history I’m grateful and I’m honored and I don’t take it for granted, and I understand that I’ve been given a gift,” she said. "It’s not mine! I can’t tell you why I’m funny and I can’t tell you ... 'cause it’s a gift. So for my place, I never want to take it for granted.”
Who does Mo’Nique look up to when it comes to black history? Who inspires her?
“Wow. My husband! My husband is our black history because he’s a king,” she said. “That black man is teaching me how to be a lady and a wife and a mother. Often times when we say who inspires us we speak of strangers because they’re celebrities but you don’t know that person. You don’t know the innert, did I say innert? (Laughs) You don’t know them in out and. You just know them out."
The 52-year-old understands that people look up to her as a comedy legend. She had this to say to those who want to follow in her footsteps:
“I say to my babies, keep your eyes open. Keep your heart big, but keep your mind clear. Mmm! That’s how you shut it down!” she laughed.