In Loni Love’s new memoir, she goes deep about love, career and her experiences with racism.
In an excerpt via PEOPLE, the 48-year-old talk show host told a harrowing story about being arrested by a police officer over a soda.
Back in the 1990s, Love, originally from Detroit, said she was attending college in Prairie View A&M University in Texas. After a night out with a friend, they stopped by a Mexican restaurant. As she was paying for her food, her friend was being “yanked away” by police and put in handcuffs. The cop accused her of filling up a free water cup with soda.
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Loni tried to help but was arrested as well. According to Loni’s book, the cop said, “Both you n— bitches is going to jail. Now close your f—ing mouth before I close it for you.”
They were both arrested and separated. Thankfully, Loni was bailed out the next day by her sorority sisters but it was a life-changing moment.
The Real co-host told PEOPLE, "Fortunately I was able to make it out, take probation and get it expunged from my record, but I could have gotten hurt, if it wasn’t for the grace of God. It taught me a lot."
She continued, “It took all of my savings, and it's all because of something so stupid. And you could say, well she did put soda in a water cup, but it was because we were two black girls. We know if it was two white girls, [the cop] would have said, 'Don't do that.'”
This moment inspired her to study criminal justice.
"I started seeing the biases against people of color, especially Black men," she explained.
"It kind of all connects with why I decided to go on to co-host a talk show, because I wanted to have those issues focused on as well. Because in my opinion, I thought that if you're on a daily talk show and if once in a while, you can talk about the injustices and show it and discuss it, maybe we can all learn from it."
I Tried to Change So You Don’t Have To is available June 23.
(Photo by Tibrina Hobson/WireImage)