Introducing The Cover Star of Ebony's July Issue, Martin Lawrence
To achieve the level of success that he did before the age of 30, he reveals that he used Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy as his blueprint. Back in 1992, he was on fire. That March, he kicked off the widely successful Def Comedy Jam as its first host; and then in July, he co-starred with Murphy, one of his idols, in Boomerang, a big-screen classic. Not only was comedy the way, it also became the vehicle for Lawrence to tap into his own greatness. Although he had appeared on Star Search, a precursor to America’s Got Talent and American Idol, as well as become a series regular on the short-lived What’s Happening spinoff What’s Happening Now!, Lawrence feels his role as Cee in Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing was very crucial to launching his Hollywood takeover.
"I got push back for a lot of things that I wanted to do. A young Black man being in that position—running his own show and everything— I got pushed back on a lot of things; but I stood my ground on what I believed in, and, for the most part, things went okay."
Writer: Ronda Racha Penrice
Multi-platform content creator/producer with over 20 years of experience specializing in urban entertainment/lifestyle. Have placed stories in over 50 outlets, print and online, ranging from The Root to The Daily Beast, from Ebony to the Creative Loafing and the AJC. Historian who wrote both African American History For Dummies (April 2007) and Black American History For Dummies (May 2021). Also edited the essay book, Cracking The Wire During Black Lives Matter (Jan 2022) featuring 11 writers and myself delving into the iconic TV show in the 20th anniversary of its premiere.
Photographer: Keith Major
New York City native Keith Major's love for photography and art began in his pre-teen years, when he attended after-school programs at the Brooklyn Museum of Art and Pratt Institute. Keith specialized in photography at New York’s highly regarded High School of Art and Design, and after graduation attended the prestigious Rochester Institute of Technology, where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
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