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RFM Bookshelf: “We’re Going to Need More Wine” by Gabrielle Union

Every month on the RFM Bookshelf, RFM team members share a book they’ve enjoyed. Maybe you will, too!

Authentic. Funny. Poignant. Fascinating. Everything you want in a book – and a friend.

For a while, I put off including Gabrielle Union’s We’re Going to Need More Wine on the RFM Bookshelf because I thought it might just be a me thing. I’ll admit, the reason I picked up the book had a lot to do with the writer’s husband. (I’m a huge fan of Dwyane Wade and the NBA’s Miami Heat.)

Months later, however, it’s sticking with me for so many reasons that it’s time to share it. The book of essays and stories is funny, frank, and revealing, and it’s crafted so genuinely that you feel like you’re chatting with a friend. Only this friend is sharing what it was like to be one of the few black actors to work on Friends.

But it’s the non-celebrity stuff – losing her virginity, being raped at gunpoint by a stranger when she was nineteen, and the struggle with infertility – that keeps you turning pages. As a white woman who didn’t know many black people until I moved from West Virginia to Richmond thirty years ago, I truly appreciated the essay about growing up in a white liberal suburb of San Francisco as what she calls the “chip in the cookie.”

And finally, if you’re a basketball lover, Union does write about her relationship with Dwyane Wade and more importantly, what it’s like parenting black boys in a culture that labels them as a threat the minute they outgrow the cute stage.

If you’re looking for one last compelling summer read, I recommend We’re Going to Need More Wine. You’ll like it, even if you’re not obsessed with Dwyane Wade.


Karen Schwartzkopf has her dream job as managing editor of RFM. Wife, mother, arts and sports lover, she lives and works in the West End with her family, including husband Scott, who not coincidentally is RFM’s creative director. You can read Karen’s take on parenting her three daughters – Sam, Robin, and Lindsey, also known as the women-children – in the Editor’s Voice.

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