Tiffany Haddish may have already received the award she’s always been wanting. The comedian recently secured the 2020 Emmy nomination for outstanding variety special for her stand-up comedy special, “Black Mitzvah.” Yet, the news got even sweeter after the actress announced that she received around four dozen letters from foster kids congratulating her.
The 40-year-old, who lived in the foster-care system as a child, along with her siblings, revealed to television host Jimmy Fallon that she had been in contact with foster children in group homes via Zoom while sheltering in place. The star said that when her young friends learned of her Emmy nomination, they got together to congratulate the actress in the form of handmade cards.
“I went to the mailbox, and there were all these handwritten notes from foster youth that I’ve been talking to over quarantine,” Haddish explained. “It was 40 messages — 40 little handwritten notes and cards — and they drew on them and colored them.”
The actress continued, “That was the best award ever. Like when I get down, I just open those up and read them. It’s like, that’s better than any trophy I could ever get, to be recognized by our youth, our future.”
In the past, the “Night School” star has opened up about her rough past before becoming a global superstar. In May 2020, during an interview with online host and music industry veteran Kenny Burns, Haddish revealed that her mother abused her as a child.
Haddish told Burns that when she was just eight years old, her mother survived a terrible car accident that left her unable to talk, walk, and handle basic everyday functions — a topic she’s covered in her memoir “The Last Black Unicorn.”
The actress divulged that her mother had become abusive following the accident, mainly as a result of frustration. “She used to knock me out, like, straight punch me, hit me, ’cause she couldn’t use her words,” Haddish detailed tearfully. She continued, “Here you go from a woman who, like, owns two properties, has her own business, also a manager at the U.S. post office, has an extensive vernacular and has this car accident, and she has to learn how to walk, talk, eat, everything. … Everything she had taught me at that point, I’m teaching her.”
She added, “The frustration of that… She couldn’t think of the words. So she would just hit. I guess like maybe a football player or an abusive boyfriend. Like, you out-talking this n—-a and he’s like, ‘F–k it, pow! That was my mom.”
The comedian said the survival skills she gained from that dark period in her life would help her years later as a comedian. “Oh, I’ll make her laugh,” Haddish said about the strategy she used. “If I dance a little bit, if I say something funny, if I write a joke and tell her I did this special for her, like maybe today will be the day that she won’t bust my nose.”