Nominated for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work
"An absolute must-read" – Shondaland
“[Rabbit] tells how it went down with brutal honesty and outrageous humor” – New York Times
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.
In this provocative memoir, popular comedian and podcast celebrity Williams describes coming of age amid poverty, neglect, and racism in 1980s Atlanta. Nicknamed "Rabbit" by her alcoholic mother, she learned to steal at age seven while living in the house of her grandfather, who sold moonshine to his "good-time regulars." Although Williams's mother put her five children in constant jeopardy with her boyfriends, one of them sexually assaulted 12-year-old Rabbit and her sister and gave them five dollars and a few pieces of fried chicken to not tell anyone. By 15, Rabbit was a mother of two, seduced by a slick older married man in the drug trade; at 16, she peddled crack to support her babies, got shot by a gang member, and was later sentenced to a year in jail for selling crack. Important revelations about her life goals came during her time in Fulton County Jail, and she eventually finished her educational requirements to become a medical assistant upon her 1991 release. Williams displays self-deprecating humor in her book's dramatic moments, and she bares her soul throughout this inspiring, page-turning narrative.