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Eartha & Kitt: A Daughter's Love Story in Black and White

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Eartha, who was a mix of Black, Cherokee, and white, is viewed by the world as Black. Kitt, her biological daughter, is blonde and light skinned. This is the story of a young girl being raised by her mother, who happened to be one of the most famous celebrities in the world. For three decades, they traveled the world together as mother and daughter. Even after Kitt got mar Eartha, who was a mix of Black, Cherokee, and white, is viewed by the world as Black. Kitt, her biological daughter, is blonde and light skinned. This is the story of a young girl being raised by her mother, who happened to be one of the most famous celebrities in the world. For three decades, they traveled the world together as mother and daughter. Even after Kitt got married and started a family of her own, she and Eartha were never far from each other’s sides. Eartha had a very difficult childhood growing up in extreme poverty in South Carolina. She described herself as being “just a poor cotton picker from the South.” She did not have her own familial ties to lean on after being abandoned by her own mother as a toddler and having never known who her father was. She and Kitt were each other’s whole world. Eartha’s legacy is still felt today. Not only do we still listen to “Santa Baby” every Christmas, but many of today’s most influential artists con­sistently mention Eartha, paying tribute to her groundbreaking stances on social issues such as racial equality and women’s and LGBTQ rights. And she is still widely remembered for her defin­itive portrayal of Catwoman in the classic Batman television series, voicing the character Yzma in Disney’s The Emperor’s New Groove, and her many other movie and Broadway roles. In these pages, Kitt brings her mother to life so vividly, you will feel as if you'd met her. You’ll embrace her love of nature, exercise, simple food, and independence, along with her lessons on the importance of treating people kindly and always being true to yourself. Filled with love, life lessons, and poignant laughter, Eartha & Kitt captures the passion and energy of two remarkable women.


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Eartha, who was a mix of Black, Cherokee, and white, is viewed by the world as Black. Kitt, her biological daughter, is blonde and light skinned. This is the story of a young girl being raised by her mother, who happened to be one of the most famous celebrities in the world. For three decades, they traveled the world together as mother and daughter. Even after Kitt got mar Eartha, who was a mix of Black, Cherokee, and white, is viewed by the world as Black. Kitt, her biological daughter, is blonde and light skinned. This is the story of a young girl being raised by her mother, who happened to be one of the most famous celebrities in the world. For three decades, they traveled the world together as mother and daughter. Even after Kitt got married and started a family of her own, she and Eartha were never far from each other’s sides. Eartha had a very difficult childhood growing up in extreme poverty in South Carolina. She described herself as being “just a poor cotton picker from the South.” She did not have her own familial ties to lean on after being abandoned by her own mother as a toddler and having never known who her father was. She and Kitt were each other’s whole world. Eartha’s legacy is still felt today. Not only do we still listen to “Santa Baby” every Christmas, but many of today’s most influential artists con­sistently mention Eartha, paying tribute to her groundbreaking stances on social issues such as racial equality and women’s and LGBTQ rights. And she is still widely remembered for her defin­itive portrayal of Catwoman in the classic Batman television series, voicing the character Yzma in Disney’s The Emperor’s New Groove, and her many other movie and Broadway roles. In these pages, Kitt brings her mother to life so vividly, you will feel as if you'd met her. You’ll embrace her love of nature, exercise, simple food, and independence, along with her lessons on the importance of treating people kindly and always being true to yourself. Filled with love, life lessons, and poignant laughter, Eartha & Kitt captures the passion and energy of two remarkable women.

30 review for Eartha & Kitt: A Daughter's Love Story in Black and White

  1. 4 out of 5

    Linden

    Eartha's only child has written a biography of their life together. Her mother carried abandonment issues from childhood throughout her life, and made sure her daughter would never feel anything but unconditional love. She brought her young daughter with her as she traveled for work, but was a stickler for deportment, and Kitt was always held to a high standard for behavior. As an adult, Kitt was Eartha's manager, and they were best friends, too. Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for this AR Eartha's only child has written a biography of their life together. Her mother carried abandonment issues from childhood throughout her life, and made sure her daughter would never feel anything but unconditional love. She brought her young daughter with her as she traveled for work, but was a stickler for deportment, and Kitt was always held to a high standard for behavior. As an adult, Kitt was Eartha's manager, and they were best friends, too. Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for this ARC.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Blankfein

    Loved reading Kitt Shapiro's stories about her amazing mother, Earth Kitt. Their special bond allowed for an incredible career and Kitt has shared many life lessons and rules learned from her mother. Full review to come on Book Nation by Jen. Loved reading Kitt Shapiro's stories about her amazing mother, Earth Kitt. Their special bond allowed for an incredible career and Kitt has shared many life lessons and rules learned from her mother. Full review to come on Book Nation by Jen.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mediaman

    A somewhat interesting book as far as it goes, though it doesn't go far enough. This is a very personal look at Eartha Kitt from a very biased daughter who puts her mom on a pedestal. It's non-stop telling us how great Eartha was, and I guess it's nice that a daughter feels that way. But the whole thing goes way too long (322 pages!) due to the lack of solid content to fill the pages. All sorts of things are ignored or summarized in a sentence or two that should have had more depth, while the au A somewhat interesting book as far as it goes, though it doesn't go far enough. This is a very personal look at Eartha Kitt from a very biased daughter who puts her mom on a pedestal. It's non-stop telling us how great Eartha was, and I guess it's nice that a daughter feels that way. But the whole thing goes way too long (322 pages!) due to the lack of solid content to fill the pages. All sorts of things are ignored or summarized in a sentence or two that should have had more depth, while the author is extremely repetitive trying to use the book to spin her mother as being always kind. The most interesting part is that Eartha looked black (she's believed to be half black but she never found out who her father was) and her daughter Kitt looks white (her dad was white), which leads to an interesting discussion of race. At first the point is clearly made that, like Martin Luther King said, everyone should be treated the same no matter what the color of their skin. It was even nice to read the author making the point that Obama could just as much been called white as black, so skin color means nothing. However, Kitt then takes a turn to speculate that Eartha would support Black Lives Matter and probably march in the streets with them. Nothing could be more different from what MLK taught than Black Lives Matter. The group is anti-white racist and is looking for equity, not equality--it bases it's agenda on the color of skin and demeans others that aren't black. Eartha's #1 rule was to "be kind," and no group is less kind than the radicals and criminals hiding behind BLM. She also was a big believer in independence and freedom, which stand against the basic socialist beliefs of Black Live Matter. So to say Eartha would support the group means she would have to contradict her beliefs, or she would just be like all the other black hypocrites that claim to be for racial equality but support a racist group to be politically correct. On the other hand the fact that Eartha stood up in the White House to President Johnson and condemned the Vietnam War long before Jane Fonda did (costing Eartha her career) proves that the woman is a radical on her own. She seemed to want to defend the underdog, since she herself was one--given up by her mother who married a man that didn't want children. So many parts of the book are interesting, probably one-third of it. But the sections about Kitt and her mom traveling or Kitt celebrating holidays or the two of them at home are pretty boring. Kitt doesn't really even tell enough about herself, rushing through her two marriages so fast that you might miss the fact that she divorced a first husband who she later asked to move close to her and her second husband. If you're looking for any behind-the-scenes stories about any Eartha projects you won't find them here. Nothing about her famous Christmas song being made, nothing about the acting beyond basic credit mentions, a sentence about Batman cranking up her fame but no details about the show. There needed to be more specifics about all of it, not assuming we had read one of Eartha's memoirs. The end of Eartha's life is well detailed and sad, but there's not much about Kitt after that. So the story is really about a mother and daughter who both adore each other, and puts a positive image on an entertainer whose persona became very catty, dark, and witchy. According to her daughter, Eartha Kitt was nothing like the Catwoman we saw on screen.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tamara Evans

    “Eartha & Kitt” is a touching tribute from a daughter to her mother. Throughout the course of the book, Kitt focuses on the different sides of her mother: Eartha Mae (a poor cotton picker from North, South Carolina) and Eartha Kitt, the flirtatious sexy kitten and multitalented singer and actress. Since Kitt was Eartha Kitt’s only child, she provides a unique perspective as both Eartha’s child as well as confidant and constant companion. Not only does Kitt provide insight on her mother’s life, sh “Eartha & Kitt” is a touching tribute from a daughter to her mother. Throughout the course of the book, Kitt focuses on the different sides of her mother: Eartha Mae (a poor cotton picker from North, South Carolina) and Eartha Kitt, the flirtatious sexy kitten and multitalented singer and actress. Since Kitt was Eartha Kitt’s only child, she provides a unique perspective as both Eartha’s child as well as confidant and constant companion. Not only does Kitt provide insight on her mother’s life, she also provides insight on life as a biracial woman in a world that wants to put her in a racial box. The book consists of thirty-seven chapters and presents a portrait of a woman who survived a traumatic childhood but used that trauma to reinvent herself as a independent, outspoken and resilient woman who is dependent on no one except herself. The book is an honest and informative account of Eartha’s childhood, her life as a mother, and her life as a performer. I liked that the book can be hard to read at times especially when reading about her being blacklisted from the United States due to speaking out again young men being sent to fight in the Vietnam War from 1968-1977. While reading this book, I was really surprised by how different Eartha was at home versus on the stage as well as how her childhood trauma colored her entire life. Due to Eartha being mistreated as a child, she was constantly on guard when it came to being around others. In addition, since Eartha often went hungry as a child, when she became an adult, she often carried Tupperware when going out to eat so she could have food for later. Due to their deeply interwoven relationship, in Eartha’s later years, Kitt was entrusted with the responsibility of being her mother’s manager since she best understood her mother’s needs and dual personality. I also found it interesting that although Eartha didn’t have a traditional childhood, when she became a mother, she patented using her instincts and used every experience as a teachable moment for her daughter. The two big themes in this book is that Eartha always had a deep relationship with the Earth and that the deepest bond Eartha had in her life was with her daughter. Overall, this book was a great and insightful book that provided clarity on a well know celebrity. Through Sharpio’s book, she presents a well rounded book that acts as a legacy for a larger than life person.

  5. 5 out of 5

    D. Bruce

    I've known for many years that there was far, far more to Eartha than her public persona. She was far ahead of her time. She radiated something that's hard to put into words ... an essence that gave her a powerful presence that was amazing. Especially from such a tiny person! :-) Kitt has that same essence, perhaps more than she even realizes. In person, she has a delightfully bright, matter-of-fact demeanor and an intelligence that shines as bright as her physical beauty. And this comes through I've known for many years that there was far, far more to Eartha than her public persona. She was far ahead of her time. She radiated something that's hard to put into words ... an essence that gave her a powerful presence that was amazing. Especially from such a tiny person! :-) Kitt has that same essence, perhaps more than she even realizes. In person, she has a delightfully bright, matter-of-fact demeanor and an intelligence that shines as bright as her physical beauty. And this comes through in this book. Her story is extraordinary, but she tells it in a down-to-earth manner that holds your attention and makes you feel like you are a part of it. It's a tremendous gift Kitt gives us when she shares her personal story in such a candid and open manner. Reading this book is a huge treat for those who love Eartha because of the things we never knew about her. But we get something extra ... something as amazing and beautiful as Eartha. We get to know Kitt, too. And I bet you'll end up loving her as much as you do her mother.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    Kitt Shapiro writes a loving memoir about her mother Eartha Kitt. Named after her mother's last name. Kitt writes about what it was like to have the talented Eartha Kitt as her mother. Her mother was bi-racial. having a mother who was black and Cherokee and an unknown father who was white. Eartha Kitt married a white man and gave birth to her only child Kitt. Kitt writes about people not believing that they were mother and daughter since Kitt looked white and her mother black. Kitt travelled al Kitt Shapiro writes a loving memoir about her mother Eartha Kitt. Named after her mother's last name. Kitt writes about what it was like to have the talented Eartha Kitt as her mother. Her mother was bi-racial. having a mother who was black and Cherokee and an unknown father who was white. Eartha Kitt married a white man and gave birth to her only child Kitt. Kitt writes about people not believing that they were mother and daughter since Kitt looked white and her mother black. Kitt travelled all around the world with her mother while she toured. she has many stories to tell of her proud and strong willed mother. the ups and downs of having a famous person as a parent. but in it all this is a loving tribute to her mother.

  7. 4 out of 5

    John Yingling

    Before reading this book, I knew and admired Eartha Kitt as a truly great entertainer and highly interesting person. (I remember being fascinated by her discussions when she appeared on talk shows.). But after reading this book I admire her even more as a loving mother who showed by word and example how much she cared for her daughter Kitt. Their relationship is beautifully described in this book, and it shows how Eartha wholeheartedly assumed her role as a parent by being assertive when needed, Before reading this book, I knew and admired Eartha Kitt as a truly great entertainer and highly interesting person. (I remember being fascinated by her discussions when she appeared on talk shows.). But after reading this book I admire her even more as a loving mother who showed by word and example how much she cared for her daughter Kitt. Their relationship is beautifully described in this book, and it shows how Eartha wholeheartedly assumed her role as a parent by being assertive when needed, leading by doing, and at all times showing in many ways how much she truly loved her daughter. She is a role model as a parent, a person and an American.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lael

    Fairly interesting if not lacking depth and emotion.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    Excellent book. The feelings and some of the experiences Kitt shared were very relatable. In fact, I would love to meet her.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nikki

    Well it isn't Mommy dearest and I was hoping for some fun stories, it was more like the other side of Eartha Kitt ..the non star Well it isn't Mommy dearest and I was hoping for some fun stories, it was more like the other side of Eartha Kitt ..the non star

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tim McKay

  12. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Freedman

  13. 4 out of 5

    Creolecat

  14. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Wong

  15. 5 out of 5

    harry cohen

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dustin Henson

  17. 4 out of 5

    Brenda Cunningham-Meany

  18. 4 out of 5

    Gwendolyn Sampson

  19. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  20. 5 out of 5

    Scott Stem

  21. 5 out of 5

    Charles

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mary Tengel

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jane Neff

  24. 4 out of 5

    David Schuman

  25. 4 out of 5

    JoyM

  26. 5 out of 5

    gary visage

  27. 5 out of 5

    Terry NeSmith

  28. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey

  30. 4 out of 5

    Diane Karmen

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