Lupita Nyong’o to Publish a Children’s Book

“Sulwe, which means ‘star’ in Ms. Nyong’o’s native language, Luo, is the story of a 5-year-old girl growing up in Kenya. In the book, Sulwe has the darkest skin color in her family, a fact that makes her uncomfortable and determined to find a way to lighten her skin. As the story unfolds Sulwe embarks on a whimsical adventure in the night sky that, coupled with advice from her mother, helps her see beauty differently.”

Click here to support Ida B. Wells-Barnett Textbook Fund

As the mother of a college student, I FEEL this. Kudos to Stacey Patton​ for putting in the work, collecting funds to go exclusively to college students struggling to get that book money together for class. ONE book can cost as much as $400 (yes, I've had to pay that or Mari), and if you come from a family that doesn't have it like that, where just paying the tuition is a struggle, passing classes becomes that much more difficult. Please, help these kids. We need them to succeed, and they need us to do it. Even $10 goes a long way toward helping a student in need.

Opinion | Guess Who’s Coming to ‘Peanuts’

"Dr. King’s assassination, on April 4, 1968, played a direct role in Franklin’s creation. Eleven days later, a Southern Californian named Harriet Glickman wrote to Mr. Schulz, introducing herself as 'the mother of three children and a deeply concerned and active citizen.' In her grief, Ms. Glickman explained, she had been pondering 'the areas of the mass media which are of tremendous importance in shaping the unconscious attitudes of our kids.' She then proposed an idea: 'the introduction of Negro children into the group of Schulz characters.'"

Beyond MLK Day: Teaching Kids Why Martin Matters | MyBrownBaby

What our kids know is this: Dr. King had a dream, and then he was shot by a bad guy and now black people can do the same things as white people without anyone getting mad about it or in trouble for it. We have a holiday in his honor and fete his work with sales at the mall. For these kids and most of their parents, the days of hoses and snapping dogs and burning crosses might as well have happened 150 years ago, rather than just 50. This is a disservice to children — and not just because they’re missing out on the significance of a crucial piece of American history. Relegating it to dusty history books makes them miss out on how far our country has come; how much further it has to go; and, most importantly, how the passion, righteousness, ideals, and actions of even one person can change our entire world for the better. Here, how to celebrate Dr. King with children.

Black Folks Go Ape Sh!t Over Racist H&M Monkey Ad | MyBrownBaby

H&M messed up. And now the Swedish clothing and retail company is apologizing for marketing a hoodie. Well, not just any hoodie. A hoodie that reads: COOLEST MONKEY IN THE JUNGLE. The problem? It is worn by a Black boy. And to make matters a bit more messy, a contrasting hoodie, worn by a white boy, had a starkly different epithet: MANGROVE JUNGLE OFFICIAL SURVIVAL EXPERT. [ 551 more words ]

Finally, someone steps up to publish more diverse kids' books

So honored to have my work—indeed, my dedication to celebrating and documenting the lives of our babies—recognized on USA Today's parenting site.

Reclaim Your Time: Quick Tips for Managing Time and Stress in the New Year | MyBrownBaby

Proactive coping—“anticipating potential stressors and acting in advance”—helps prevent and mute the effects of stress. Here, a few ways to shave time and lower anxiety levels—tips that give you one less thing to deal with. I'm here for these—and implementing stat.

Reclaim Your Time: Quick Tips for Managing Time and Stress in the New Year | MyBrownBaby

By KJ Edwards Along with the new year comes the attempts to be our better selves, aka resolutions. And while MyBrownBaby colleague, Ida Harris, dropped a list of things we should all leave behind in 2017, some of us are carrying self-sabotage forward. I’m looking at you, SIS. 2017 was real—real depressing, real taxing, real hectic, especially for Black women. [ 553 more words ]

Word To Muva: Bon Voyage B!tches To These Things From 2017 | MyBrownBaby

I'm here for this list. All of it. Ida Harris breaking down the foolery of 2017 so it'll forever be broke. Get some.

Word To Muva: Bon Voyage B!tches To These Things From 2017 | MyBrownBaby

I wish 2017 a swift death—as in fuck dropping the New Year's ball, but rather drop a gotdamn guillotine on that shit. Like throw the whole year away and all its fuckery, too. I mean, I could spit a fully cited listicle of trash shit that needs to be funeralized, eulogized, and buried, but it would read like a dissertation and there are collards to cook, chitlins to clean, and black-eyed peas to soak. [ 641 more words ]

Megyn Kelly, Black Santa and Other Colored Things That'll Make Her Fox Head Explode | MyBrownBaby

Also, that time when new NBC darling Megyn Kelly got her panties in a wad over Santa AND Jesus being colored? I’m never gonna forget that. Ever.

Seeing Santa in Black and White

Super sweet story about Santa, whom, in our house, we all know is Godiva chocolate brown. 😏

Birthing While Black: This African American Mom's Experience Was Anything But VIP | MyBrownBaby

I’m still upset about that NPR story detailing why Black mothers are dying at alarming rates during childbirth and postpartum. Here is a piece I wrote years ago about my #birthingwhileblack experience. But don’t just read my piece; look at the comments section. Story after story about poor treatment of Black women before, during and after childbirth. Believe. Black. Women. We are not making this shit up and it is not simply in our minds. Our babies and we are in danger.

Black Mothers Keep Dying After Giving Birth. Shalon Irving's Story Explains Why

My God. This story. The statistics. The reality for Black women and our maternal and postpartum care. The racism and stress and lack of care we face for just... being. The peek into Shalon’s life and death. I am absolutely devastated. If you do nothing else today, read this. It is important. It is necessary. We need to do better by Black women—Black mothers. Full. Stop.

Teacher Knowledge vs. Mommy Knowledge: A Child Chooses | MyBrownBaby

BY K.J. EDWARDS The adults our children grow into is predicated on many factors. These factors are labeled the “Agents of Socialization.” They include family, school, peers, and media. With family children learn their first lessons. They develop basic life skills: how to feed, bathe and clothe themselves. They also learn emotional intelligence: how to empathize with others and show kindness and compassion. [ 778 more words ]

Retweeted Agate Publishing (@AgatePublishing):

"A celebration of self-confidence & self-worth, a beautiful window into a snippet of a boy’s transformation that enables him to feel recognized & powerful. The voice, the word choice, the rhythm—it is all astonishingly perfect." @mommyshorts @KidLitLauren

Retweeted The Conscious Kid (@consciouskidlib):

Don’t miss the Facebook Live reading of Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Author Derrick Barnes’ son! Sunday at 7 pm EST on the @mobbunited FB page: @MyBrownBaby @AgatePublishing #weneeddiversebools #ownvoices #blackbooksmatter #blackboyjoy

Hilarious essays and a mighty children's book: Rebecca Carroll's top picks of 2017

“ Such is the case with “Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut” by Derrick Barnes, beautifully illustrated by Gordon C. James, a real standout that reads like spoken word poetry in its bold tenor and lyrical writing. And it’s not just a pleasure to read, it also does something important, and that is to show up and show out for black kids, black culture and black language. It’s about that time honored tradition for black folks of sitting in the chair at the barbershop, and the power of being seen as a black boy beyond stereotype out here in America. Barnes writes: “A fresh cut does something for your brain, right? It hooks up your intellectual.” Hook yourself up with this sweet and mighty book, both for you and your kids.” Thank you, Rebecca Carroll, for this awesome nod!

For the Love of Black Boys: Derrick Barnes and His Ode to the Fresh Cut

LOVING this gorgeous interview Hope Wabuke conducted with Derrick Barnes about his love of brown babies, books, HBCUs, black boy joy and the fresh cut—today on The Root. Click the link and get you some! (And don't miss the super special reading of "Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut" this Sunday at 7 p.m. EST, hosted by Moms of Black Boys United, Inc. (MOBB United)! Buy "Crown" here:

For the Love of Black Boys: Derrick Barnes and His Ode to the Fresh Cut

For the Love of Black Boys: Derrick Barnes and His Ode to the Fresh Cut via @TheRoot

A’Driane Nieves | Mother Maker

"I am deeply committed to wanting to stay a whole person. One of my biggest frustrations after having my oldest son was that the messaging that I kept getting, that as a single mom I needed to give up my own dreams and ambitions. Basically becoming a mother meant that I had to derail all of that and I needed to become, for example, an x-ray technician. I needed to do whatever it would take to survive. I didn’t pursue any dreams or ambitions that kept me connected to who I am. Since then, I’ve always fought very hard for that and I want my kids to see that. I want them to see and to understand that their mom isn’t just their mom. As much as I love them and I love who they are, they are a part of my world but they are not my whole world. I am more than just their mom. I am a person, with my own dreams and desires and insecurities.

I want my kids to see their mom not just surviving motherhood or surviving her life, but living it and thriving and pursuing it. As a feminist raising boys, it is important that they see that. Mom can be a lot of different things, all at once even." LOVING this interview of Addye Nieves—and particularly what she has to say about being a FULL woman as she mothers and creates. Also, the artwork throughout the piece is drool-worthy. I'm so adding her to my collection.

Black Boys Wear the Crown!

Black Boys Wear the Crown! -

Black Books Matter: Children's Books Celebrating Black Boys

We at Denene Millner Books are deeply appreciative of Moms of Black Boys United, Inc. (MOBB United) and The Conscious Kid Library for putting together this incredible list of books featuring Black boys—and especially for including “Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut” by Derrick Barnes on the list. MyBrownBaby is proud to republish the list with permission. Want the PERFECT Christmas present for the sweeties on your list? Grab one—or a few—of these incredible books and put them under the tree. There is no greater gift than the gift of literacy—especially when our babies are celebrated in the pages! Plus: a special announcement about a super special reading of CROWN!

[Word To Muva] You’re Missing Out By Not Going Bald… Downtown

By IDA HARRIS I've been hair-free for a minute, now. It's a choice I don’t regret. Most women aren't willing to go that route, but every women should—at least once. Going completely bald is the next best thing to being naked. I should be clear: I ain't talking about a bald head. At least not the one on your shoulders, but rather the one that rest between your legs. [ 720 more words ]

LIVE Book Club Party with Top Authors - Gifts for Kids

About to go live—I got my books and my drank. Come through!

Why I Don’t Grieve for My Daughter at College

“But a part of me simply wonders, ‘Isn’t this what we as parents want to happen?’ There is a natural order to it all. Right? Now I can’t lie. There are moments when I worry about Chloe. But I worried a bit when she started full-day preschool, went to sleep-away camp and, perhaps most terrifying, drove to the mall for the first time. As I did in those times, I talk myself down with faith that angels are with her when I can’t be. In other words — grace.

But unlike in the early days of parenting, I now have lots of reasons to have faith in Chloe herself.”

This is a beautiful read from Ylonda Gault Caviness. I can cop to being slightly unhinged when we sent Girlpie off to Yale, but what got me through—what keeps me getting through—is trusting my Mari soaked in the lessons and is putting them to good use.

This empowering photo shoot aims to normalize breastfeeding in the black community

One of them, 26-year-old Charity Moore, shared with Yahoo Lifestyle the intention behind the photos. “We wanted to do something to capture the essence of how natural breastfeeding is,” she said. “We used crowns to remind each other that we are queens and to keep one another lifted. We chose to come together to normalize breastfeeding. And it’ll never be ‘normal,’ unless it’s seen.”

Jay-Z Discusses Rap, Marriage and Being a Black Man in Trump’s America

"...fairness and compassion and empathy and a loving heart. And those things translate in any environment. Those are the main base things that... I would want my child to have. You know? Treat people as they are, no matter who they are, no matter where they sit in the world, not to, like, be super nice to someone at a high position or mean to someone who they've deemed to be below them. I can't buy you love, I can't show it to you. I can show you affection and I can, you know, I can express love, but I can't put it in your hand. I can't put compassion in your hand. I can't show you that. So the most beautiful things are things that are invisible. That's where the important things lie." —Jay-Z <-- YES. This is beautiful.

Let the Church Say Amen: Plies is a National Treasure

Listen: my homegirl Ida Harris​ BEEN tagging me on those Plies IG videos, but I'm just not coming to understand the pure genius of this man. He country, Black AF, and full of the good sense God gave him. Today, a tribute to Passuh Plies, a bonafide national treasure that makes our hearts leap with joy. Bless ya life. Read this.

Let The Church Say Amen: Plies Is A National Treasure

By IDA HARRIS Since the first African footprint marked our Black ass arrival onto American soil, Old Negro Spirituals have been instrumental in transforming us, up from the bowels of slavery into the most glorified symbols of resilience. This form of gospel is a staple in Black culture. Inspiration for negro spirituals come straight outta text from The Bible: "Speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. [ 717 more words ]

Best Picture Books of 2017 to Give Readers Strength (pg. 1) | Kirkus Reviews

And another one: only a week after Publisher’s Weekly named “Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut” one of the year’s best books, now, too, does Kirkus! We at Denene Millner Books are so proud of this work! It’ll make a GREAT Christmas present for every little in your life!

Explaining Thanksgiving to Brown Babies

Yes, the school teachers are still telling the babies that Thanksgiving lie about the pilgrims and the Native Americans and that sharing of a big meal and recipes and whatnot. Don't let it go down like that. This mom didn't. Instead, she told the truth. She tells how to break the news and why it's important to do so, today on MyBrownBaby​.

Explaining Thanksgiving To Brown Babies: The Truth Doesn’t Have To Hurt

By K. J. EDWARDS Here we go again—it's Thanksgiving. Time to break out the macaroni & cheese, collard greens, cranberry sauce, sweet potato pie and turkey—all the holiday foodstuff we Americans are used to. I had long forgotten the narrative of Thanksgiving Day’s origins, until my kindergartener’s take-home folder, filled with coloring sheets of pilgrims, reminded me. My daughter was over-the-moon as she shared her newfound knowledge: “Mommy look, this is a picture of my pilgrims.” [ 659 more words ]

Is Natural Potty Training The New Throwback?

Black parenting ain't no easy task. When it comes to shaping beautiful brown babies into fully functioning adults, our work is definitely carved out for us. Thankfully, modern technology eases some of the doodies, I mean duties. The breast pump allows us to nourish babies in our absence and to relieve milk-heavy bosoms. The bottle warmer is a safe and quick fix to heating baby formula without resorting to the old-school fuss of boiling water at the stove or nuking milk in the microwave. [ 570 more words ]

Why I created a Facebook group for black moms only

I absolutely adore it when moms of color come together and bond over, teach and grow from our shared experiences—those that get largely ignored by "mainstream" parenting magazines, sites and stories. This is beautiful!

Reminder: Your Daughter Doesn’t Owe Anyone a Hug. Not Even at The Holidays.

“Think of it this way, telling your child that she owes someone a hug either just because she hasn’t seen this person in a while or because they gave her a gift can set the stage for her questioning whether she “owes” another person any type of physical affection when they’ve bought her dinner or done something else seemingly nice for her later in life.”

Reminder: Your Daughter Doesn’t Owe Anyone a Hug. Not Even at The Holidays.

“Think of it this way, telling your child that she owes someone a hug either just because she hasn’t seen this person in a while or because they gave her a gift can set the stage for her questioning whether she “owes” another person any type of physical affection when they’ve bought her dinner or done something else seemingly nice for her later in life.”

12 New October Picture Books That Make Perfect Gifts

And who would argue with Barnes & Noble? “CROWN: An Ode to the Fresh Cut” most certainly is the most perfect gift—in October and every other month. Grace the bookshelves with this Denene Millner Books star!

Congresswoman Maxine Waters Speaks 'Directly, and Aggressively, Without Apology'

I had the great honor and pleasure of profiling Congresswoman Maxine Waters for Glamour's "Women of the Year" issue. Yes, she is every bit the firecracker she is on Twitter. But please know: she's not new to this. Auntie Maxine BEEN doing the work.

My Biracial Son Needs to See Himself as Black and Proud

My Biracial Son Needs to See Himself as Black and Proud

Best Books Best Books 2017 Publishers Weekly

Yooooooooo! Publisher's Weekly named Derrick Barnes' "CROWN: An Ode to the Fresh Cut," one of the best books of 2017! I couldn't be more proud of Derrick, the illustrator Gordon C. James, or Agate Publishing and Denene Millner Books for this unabashed celebration of #BlackBoyJoy!

Writes PW: "In a book as gorgeous as it is important, empowering text and lustrous portraits celebrate the ritual of the barbershop haircut: how good that fade or shape-up can make a person feel, and how, for many boys with black or brown skin, it's a chance to be treated like a king in a world that too often views them with suspicion or contempt." <<-- SAY WORD! Buy your copy TODAY.


This. Right. Here. No need for hitting; just sound, logical, smart problem-solving for little humans. Bravo!


This is the work. Thank you, Tarana Burke, for loving us so wholly, so deeply. #MeToo

How A Black Barbershop In Kansas City Inspired A New Children's Book

Derrick Barnes captured the very heart of barbershop culture for Black boys in his new book, "Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut." Listen to his NPR interview to hear about his inspiration: his childhood barber, Mr. Tony. Also, crown your baby's bookshelves with his gorgeous book:

12 Moms On What They’ve Taught (And Learned From) Their Daughters

"If there’s any mission that I’ve ever had as a mother, it’s to raise some girls who can leave this house and be proud of themselves—not just for being brilliant, but for being beautiful. I got two badass girls. For me, raising a badass Black girl means having her understand that she is enough."

Happy Book Birthday, ‘Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut’!

Happy Book Birthday, 'Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut'!

A Tale Of Two Divas: Why There Can Only Be One

I like being a woman. I like my femininity and all my feminine parts—my butt, my boobs, my hips, and my... well, you know. Down there. I'm proud my body is a vessel—that it has the software and vigor to incubate and birth beautiful brown babies. It never bothers me that I must consign myself to the menses cycle every 28 days. [ 804 more words ]

Photo de couverture de MyBrownBaby

"Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut," by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Gordon C. James, for Denene Millner Books. Purchase it today!

Caldecott Medal Contender: Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut

"'Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut' is a spirited and invigorating re-enactment of an experience and its speculative aftermath that has brought success to those who understand a trip to the barber is anything but a routine chore. It is an incomparable work that is as psychologically therapeutic as is aesthetically beautiful. Caldecott scrutiny seems a given. Spike Lee also take note." My God--folks are calling for "Crown" to be considered by the Caldecott committee! Yuuuuussssssssssssss!!!!!!!! Y'all. Y'ALL!