Hollywood Producer & Author of Best Selling Audible “It Takes a Woman,” DeVon Franklin
Updated: May 7
Telling the story without lending too much information! Alright, let’s unpack some of the carry-on luggage from this amazing trip, shall we?
The Audible: It’s the most captivating audial of 2022, that taps into parenthood, motherhood, and single parenting, forgoing by circumstance, extending like an olive branch, to the various family members related to DeVon Franklin. It Takes a Woman, is a profound antidote that twiddle with the heartstrings of its listeners, for sure.
It’s not a self-help album, but spectators will receive something, even if it’s enlightenment. The stories are relatable, and earnestly descriptive.
There is a poignant backdrop to the man, DeVon Franklin, in addition to his village of grandparents, aunts, cousins, and aunties, that helped to shape the radiantly successful, and wholesome human he is today.
It's true. Everyone has somebody that helped them in life whether they are willing to admit it or not. Maybe it’s a friend that offered a comfy sofa to sleep on for the night, an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry o, one parent, or an entire village much like Franklins, that helped to part the red seas to their success.
Let’s bask in honesty for a second… it takes a village to raise children in any era of life; and especially now, in this capricious society. For Franklin, it took a circle of women, to understand him, to nurture him, and develop him.
DeVon Franklin narrates the story, and he interviews his mother, aunts, and great aunties. He gets straight to the point, by recounting the death of his father. He says quite frankly and sternly, ‘The road to hell is often paved with good intentions.” I wanted to know what Franklin meant by that in detail, so I asked.
I’m a mother and an auntie, who birthed four kids, but raised a total of 8 kids (I’m down to the remainder three). It’s been anything but easy as a single parent. When it’s good, it’s great, but when the going gets tough, the tough gets to kicking my butt! By the Grace of God! Therefor, I thought it was fair to ask the aunties a question, ”Did you ever doubt a decision that you made, and if so, how did you rectify that?”
My main squeeze, Aunt Donna, answered (I’ve never met the woman, but she is me. I am her).
See both responses below:
DeVon Franklin is a vibrant Hollywood Producer, best-selling author, President, and CEO of Franklin Entertainment. His production company is conjoined with Paramount Pictures and CBS Studios.
He’s the man, the myth… no, he’s just a man, but Black Excellence, okay?!
He is the glowing name behind spiritual films Breakthrough, Miracles From Heaven, Flamin’ Hot for Disney, and a series called Kingdom Business airing on BET network.
He’s Vice-President of the Board of Governors for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences. DeVon is a graduate of the University of Southern California and lives in Los Angeles.
Franklin achieved these things and more, by standing on the shoulders of these phenomenal women in his tribe, who understood the assignment on Franklin’s life, as well as their own.
In the audible, Franklins description about his fathers funeral is mournful, and exact, down to the humming of the lights. I know this because I remember the same feeling and imagery when my mom passed, as well as my brother, sister, 5 aunts, and two uncles. I remember the visuals and the uneasy feelings Franklin described in remarkable detail. I think readers will appreciate his genius of drawing listeners into his world.
In the first few layers we meet the village, and we learn about their struggles, their will to prevail, and their love for one another, Paulette (Mom), Aunt Donna (Me in my former life), Aunt Enis, Aunt Sondra, Aunt Ida, and Aunt Nuna.
From there, Franklin draws us to the origin of his father, whom they called, “Squeaky.” Squeaky was charismatic, deeply involved with family, he was the love of Paulette’s life. Squeaky suffered from alcoholism. We also learn that DeVon, struggled with anxiety, and other small dilemmas as a middle child between his siblings Donald, and David.
There are many liberating highs in It Takes a Woman and heart crushing lows. The personal information shared, pangs in places, with wide ranging emotions, and sparks of energies to somber spaces.
It Takes a Woman, is a superlative manifesto, that spellbinding memoir of truths told from different angles, by the leading women that lent a firm hand in the development of DeVon Franklin—It’s an ode to them, a delightful forward spanning through generations, giving them their flowers now just in time for Mother’s Day.
It’s the best part about growing up with a village, as the narration points out, that even if life treats you well, you act up or fall on your face, there’s someone who is willing to love, correct you, pick you up, dust you off, stand you on your feet, and send you back into the world stronger than ever before. That’s the village that I remember being part of, while growing up.
Teachable moments: Nobody is perfect—not one family is above experiencing challenges, scandal, or heartbreak. Franklins family went beyond the call to selflessly share these things with the masses, their victories guilt and some of their shame. It‘s that welding vulnerability for me, the human side of them, their truest authenticity in the form of benevolence and sacrifice.
This information is priceless from learning things about the coping mechanism of a boy, pain, and grief — Learning to speak but also listen, to the children that are grieving, the children that simply want to belong, the children that want to be seen and heard, and the children that just want to feel loved, deeply. These are the golden nuggets sewn throughout the audible.
I say to the parents, single moms, aunts, uncles, grandparents, or even cousins standing in the gap, you will appreciate the value in this book. Whatever you are dealing with or battling… You are not alone in this.
ABOUT DeVON FRANKLIN
Named by Variety as one of the "Top 10 Producers to Watch" and by Oprah as “a different kind of Spiritual Teacher,” DeVon Franklin is a Hollywood Producer and New York Times bestselling author blazing his own unique trail with an unwavering commitment to uplifting the human spirit through entertainment.
DeVon serves as President and CEO of Franklin Entertainment, a dynamic production company in conjunction with Paramount Pictures and CBS TV Studios. He’s the driving force behind some of Hollywood’s most successful inspirational films including
In addition to his work as a producer, DeVon is also the author of multiple bestselling books such as LIVE FREE, THE SUCCESS COMMANDMENTS, THE TRUTH ABOUT MEN and his new Audible Original IT TAKES A WOMAN, which is a deeply personal look into the tragedy that transformed his family’s life forever.
ABOUT IT TAKES A WOMAN
In this riveting and soul-stirring Audible Original, author and Hollywood insider, DeVon Franklin introduces us to the women who raised him, a “village of love” that selflessly came together to shape him into the man he is today in the wake of his Father’s tragic death. With this heartfelt memoir, Franklin inspires listeners to celebrate the universal power of women and embrace his village as their own.
There’s an African proverb that says, “It takes a Village to raise a child”. Hollywood producer and best-selling author DeVon Franklin offers a personal twist: It Takes a Woman. In this riveting and soul-stirring Audible Original, Franklin introduces us to the women who raised him—a “village of love” that selflessly came together to shape him into the man he is today.
For the first time publicly, Franklin and his family discuss the aftermath of his father’s untimely death and the despair that could have destroyed their future. It Takes a Woman offers listeners an emotional journey of tragedy, triumph, and healing as Franklin, his mother, and his five living great-aunts recall how the women heeded the call to help raise him and his two brothers. The candid conversation—covering everything from marriage, death, divorce, and regret to colorfully frank advice about dating, sex, and money—uncovers old wounds that are still fresh and pain that is still piercing, as well as a family bond that is unbreakable.
The women’s willingness to open their hearts and souls elevates this listen beyond simple memoir. Guided by their faith, they share decades of hard-earned life experiences and inspiring lessons. It’s the foundation of love and communication that nurtured Franklin and his brothers, and one that will inspire listeners to embrace this village as their own.
It Takes a Woman, one family’s true story of hope, faith, and resilience, honors the sacrifices of a remarkable village of Black women as experienced through the eyes of a Black man. It’s also a universal celebration of the power of women to alter and enrich the lives they touch.