by Marisa Guthrie
“I remember praying for peace all the time as a kid,” says Queen Latifah. The admission causes her to laugh, just a little, perhaps at the thought of a child earnestly asking God to make the people of the world stop killing one another.
On a Monday in early July, Queen Latifah — born Dana Owens to a high school art teacher mother and police officer father who taught her to fire his service pistol when she was seven years old — is in a fourth-floor conference room on the Sony lot, discussing with producers her upcoming daytime talker, The Queen Latifah Show. They are considering a possible segment about an Afghanistan war veteran, Purple Heart recipient and grandmother, whose own daughter endured a painful divorce and moved back home with her two daughters in tow. She is living in a tiny apartment in the South and commuting two hours each way to her job at a computer company. Since she returned from Afghanistan, she has worked with other female veterans, helping them to reenter civilian life, assistance that was unavailable to her when she herself was honorably discharged. Supervising producer Jack Mori is pitching a piece on her that may involve a significant home improvement project. But we can’t reveal it here lest we spoil the surprise.