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Girls Inc. Leads Daughters to Greatness

1/23/2013, 12:50 p.m.

Headlining the event was Rain Pryor, who performed her 70-minute autobiographical solo Off-Broadway show, "Fried Chicken and Latkes."

Pryor, daughter of comic genius, Richard Pryor, grew up in Beverly Hills, Calif., in the 1970s and '80s in a biracial household with her mother, Shelly Bonis, a Jewish one-time go-go dancer. Her show featured portraits from her life, including her attempted suicide, her father's suicide attempts, his womanizing, drug abuse and paternal concern.

"I got to a place where I understood their struggle," said Pryor, 43, about her parents' tumultuous life. "Something happens when you have a child. The history makes you a better person." Pryor, who now lives in Baltimore, Md., and New York, has a three-year-old daughter.

"He's always on my mind, especially around his birthday (in December)," said Pryor.

She was spot-on with profiles such as her hard-headed mother (Joan Crawford of the 'hood), her maternal grandmother and paternal great-grandmother. Pryor transformed as she effortlessly spat out Jewish idioms, and described how her white mother eased the pain of her African-American daughter when she was called the "N" word. Pryor wove some blues into her portraits, much to the delight of the audience as it made the journey with her - including her father's funeral in 2005. She did it with raw emotion.

"It's really great to hear about Rain's life and see her father in her, and her support for the cause of Girls Inc. is so positive," said Margaret Dureke during the event. "There are many women empowering these girls to let them dream what's possible. It's good to pass on the baton to the next generation."