Uphill x Jemele Hill Discussion Questions
Updated: Aug 3
Uphill is an unapologetically bold memoir from Emmy Award-winning sports journalist Jemele Hill about overcoming generational traumas and navigating a white-dominated industry.
Themes: Generational Trauma, Mother/Daughter Relationships, Drug Abuse, Mental Illness, Protecting Black Women, Surviving vs Living, Working in White/Male Dominated Spaces, Social Media
The following questions were discussed by the SoLoveSoul Book Club. Click the link for more information
1. What are your thoughts on the mother-daughter dynamic between Jemele's mother and grandmother? Do you think the life insurance policy was the grandmother's way of acknowledging her mistreatment?
2. What do you think about Jemele’s relationship with her mother? How does it compare to the relationship between Jemele’s mother and grandmother? Why do you think her mom was finally able to get clean after Jamele went to college?
3. In Chapter 5, Jemele talks about how writing in her diary helped her find her voice. Is it an invasion of privacy for a parent to read their child’s diary? What helped you discover your voice? 4. In Chapter 11, Jemele discusses black beauty vs the entertainment industry. What has been your personal experience navigating the beauty world as a black woman? What do you believe needs to be done to improve the image of black women in regard to hair and makeup?
5. What are your overall thoughts about the book? What are some of your takeaways from Jemele’s journey?
6. How do you think Jemele’s upbringing prepared her for the hardships she faced in the workplace? How did they hinder her?
7. Jemele’s career got turned upside down because of a few tweets. Let’s discuss social media as a blessing and a curse. What are your thoughts on cancel culture and social media censorship?
Discussion Worthy Quotes: 8. “What if there is some vat of anger deep inside of me that I’d overlooked all these years?”
Why do you think the world often sees black women as angry? Do you think that it’s possible that deep down, we might be harboring some kind of anger?
9. “No romance without finance is a goddamn nuisance”
Do you agree with this statement? Should we automatically expect financial support (or gifts) in an intimate relationship?
10. “I realized how easy it was for white people to completely ignore the existence of black people” (pg81)
In many cases (especially for “inner-city youth”), it isn’t until we go off to college, enter the workforce, or leave our hometown that we begin to have intimate interactions with people from another race. What does this say about our country 60 years post-segregation? How does this degree of separation affect how we view the world?
11. “As a black woman, I had no expectation that I would be given the same treatment and grace as white folks after making a mistake.”
What are your thoughts on double standards in the workplace? Have you experienced a similar situation where you were treated differently than your white counterparts?
12. “A man should be able to provide for his woman and carry the household single-handedly.”
Do you agree? Even if a woman brings something to the table, do you think the man should still be able to carry the household single-handedly?