The late comedian Bernie Mac honored in a novel

By Nadia Reese,
AFRO editorial assistant

This year, comedian and actor Bernie Mac was honored in a daily motivational novel titled “I don’t care if you love me, I love me.” The book was created and published May 24 by his wife, Rhonda R. McCullough, his personal publicist, Denise Jordan Walker, and author and screenwriter, Melinda K. Bryce.

Bernie Mac, who died August 9, 2008, was a popular comedian. Mac was well known for his movies and TV shows such as “The Bernie Mac Show”, “The Original Kings of Comedy”, and “Soul Men”.

Prior to fame, Mac lived in Chicago where he met McCullough when he was 16.

“He was a very charismatic young man, very funny, he loved music and he just had a very nice personality,” McCullough told AFRO. “I think that made me like him. He was pretty much the same person at home as he was on stage. What you saw was what you got, there were always laughs in the house and he was a big joker.

At age 8, Mac began doing stand-up performances for her grandparents’ church in Chicago.

He will later make his first professional number at 19 at the Regal Theater in Chicago before joining the comedy club circuit in 1977. Mac did all of this while working various jobs such as a delivery truck driver.

“Bernie always delivered,” Walker said. “(Bernie Mac and I) would be at an event and he would say ‘I want you all to know what I’m doing, I have TV ships coming. “”

“I Don’t Care If You Like Me, I Like Me” is a motivational novel based on the experiences of actor Bernie Mac who died at the age of 51.

Today, Mac’s team has done more to keep his legacy alive and show what he’s done to inspire more comedians across the community. How to create the Bernie Mac Foundationa nonprofit that helps raise awareness of sarcoidosis, a disease that weakens the lungs and killed Mac.

“We have a Tiktok, an Instagram and a Facebook account called”Bernie Mac is back“and on Facebook and some of these younger generations don’t realize he’s gone,” Bryce said. “It’s kind of fun because they’re interacting with these platforms and it’s like we’re keeping it here for these younger generations.”

However, that’s not the only way the Mac team is keeping its history alive. The novel, “I don’t care if you like me, I like myself” is also sold as an audiobook voiced by comedian Reggie Reg.

“Reggie Reg is a local Chicago comedian and not only is he a comedian, he does great impersonations,” McCullough said. “He’s perfect with Bernie’s voice, so we thought there couldn’t be anyone else who could do it.”

“Bernie was very prophetic. He could say a word and it would come true. He just knew and felt things that most of us wouldn’t even think about or think would happen, but he always knew,” she said. “I want you to know that when you listen to the audio book or if you buy the book, you will know that he was very prophetic and spoke from his heart.”

Readers interested in buying”I don’t care if you love me, I love mecan be found on Audible, the Kindle Store, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Google Play Books.

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