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: https://m.barnesandnoble.com/w/crown-derrick-barnes/1125714086

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! http://bit.ly/ESMDMB

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!

Detroit Public Library presents Denene Millner

Detroit! I'm coming to you today, at the Main branch of the Detroit Public Library from 2 pm to 3:30 pm TODAY. I'm reading "Early Sunday Morning" to the babies, plus showing off "Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut," AND "There's a Dragon In My Closet!" Denene Millner Books fresh! L-Boogie, aka Trouble, aka Totally Lila is with me! See you there! Click this link for more info: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/detroit-public-library-presents-denene-millner-tickets-38295155842?aff=efbneb

Detroit Public Library presents Denene Millner

Detroit! I'm coming to you today, at the Main branch of the Detroit Public Library from 2 pm to 3:30 pm TODAY. I'm reading "Early Sunday Morning" to the babies, plus showing off "Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut," AND "There's a Dragon In My Closet!" Denene Millner Books fresh! L-Boogie, aka Trouble, aka Totally Lila is with me! See you there! Click this link for more info: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/detroit-public-library-presents-denene-millner-tickets-38295155842?aff=efbneb

CROWN: An Ode To The Fresh Cut Author Derrick Barnes Shares 5 Favorite Rap Albums

Back when he was a struggling, yet hopeful, sixth grade hip-hop superstar, writing rhymes on the back of his math notebook and battle rapping at recess, Derrick Barnes desperately tried to mimic the style of some of his favorite MCs. Big Daddy Kane’s high-top fade. L.L. Cool J’s sneakers and swag. Rakim’s cadence and overall cool. What his friends didn’t know is that his love of writing rhymes led him to become a fan of Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Derek Walcott, and Sir Laurence Dunbar, and, ultimately, to him become an incredible writer in his own right, penning jewels like the upcoming Denene Millner Books title, "CROWN: An Ode to the Fresh Cut." Check out Derrick's Top 5 on Barnes & Noble and, while you're over there, buy a copy of "CROWN"!

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut is Getting RAVE Reviews

The reviews for Derrick Barnes' new Denene Millner Books offering, "Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut," are NUTS! But I knew they would be. This book is something special; I knew that from the first read. This isn't just a story about a kid getting a haircut; it is a pure, stunning celebration of Black boys and their royalty. Please, if you do nothing else today, share this post and BUY THIS BOOK. This is one the babies need to see.

Review of the Day: Crown by Derrick Barnes, ill. Gordon C. James — @fuseeight A Fuse #8 Production

"Imagine if Muhammad Ali were to write a picture book but instead of using his verbal linguistics on his own magnificence he turned those words towards the child reader. I mean, I don’t even know who to really compare author Derrick Barnes to with this book. Lin-Manuel Miranda couldn’t do it better." Yes. He. Did. That. Check out this incredible review of Derrick Barnes and Gordon C. James Fine Art and Illustration's beautiful new Denene Millner Books offering, "Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut." GRACE YOUR BOOKSHELVES WITH THIS INCREDIBLE PIECE OF ART! Buy it here: http://bit.ly/CrownDMB

Forbes Top Influencers: Meet The 30 Social Media Stars Of Fashion, Parenting And Pets (Yes, Pets)

Oh, hey. Look who's one of Forbes' Top 30 Social Media Influencers in the country. ((An honor for running my mouth... and other things. Aye!)) #MyBrownBaby Denene Millner Books A Seat At The Table

All Def Digital

And this, my loves, is how you sing your ABCs. Good morning!

Simply 7 interview with Vanessa Brantley Newton–“Grandma’s Purse”

"Write about what you know or what you have experienced. Stop measuring yourself to others. There is something that only YOU can bring to the creative table and you need to get busy doing, loving and expressing what you do. It’s magical!" Inspiring words from the extraordinary Vanessa Newton, whose new book, "Grandma's Purse," is sure to be a stunner!

Reading, Writing and Refugees

While folks out here in these streets banning Muslims from our country, writers are creating art meant to shine a light. #HateIsNotTheAnswer

Neonatal Negligence & The Evil That Naval Nurses Do | MyBrownBaby

Ida Harris​ writes it right: The racist Naval corps workers who abused newborns for sport on SnapChat are the worst kind of trash—and they should pay for what they did to those babies. Their actions are terroristic. And worth, at the very least, an ass whopping and a nice, cozy spot on a national child abuse registry.

Book giveaway for Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes Sep 20-Oct 20, 2017

Listen: I know you're going to support Black business (and your girl) by buying Derrick Barnes'"Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut," the latest offering from my imprint Denene Millner Books. But you can win a second copy in this Goodreads giveaway. Click the link and follow the directions for your chance to win.

10 Must-Read Book Releases For Fall 2017

On this powerhouse list: Toni Morrison. Nikki Giovanni. Ta'Nahesi Coates. Dick Gregory. AND DERRICK BARNES' "Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut," the picture book next up on Denene Millner Books. Marinate on that: this children's book is being hailed as the kidlit version of pure brilliance. I keep trying to tell y'all: let it bless your life--and your bookshelves. Congrats, Derrick! Buy "Crown" here: http://bit.ly/CrownDMB

‘The Way to Survive It Was to Make A’s’

Bill and Marvin decided that the best way to respond to the exultation they saw after King was killed was to outpace the whites. It was not enough to outrank their classmates by a few decimal points; it had to be clear and unquestionable who was best. So they pulled away. Bill and Marvin were the top two students in their class their entire four years at V.E.S. They became the head counselors in the dorm. They were on the football team, which won a state prep-school championship, the first integrated team to do so, a year before the public-school team made famous by “Remember the Titans.” “Those white boys knew,” Marvin told me. <--This is an INCREDIBLE story--and gorgeously written. God bless each one of these men, thrown in the lion's den, only to emerge the victors, each in their own way.

10 Great Ways To Get Your Child Reading Now | MyBrownBaby

New York-based educator, poet and writer DuEwa Frazier put together a kick-butt list of great ways engaged parents can get their children to be reading rock stars. Check out these fantastic tips.

Interview: Mother of 8-Year-Old Nearly Hanged in NH Speaks Out on Moving Forward With Her Son

"In short order, not only did young Quincy get an early lesson in injustice, but he also got a searing taste of a tried-and-true American dictum: Black lives don’t matter (also, the criminal-justice system protects white men; also, nooses are just play things for silly kids; also, white kids who make mistakes will be protected; also, your body is less important than someone else’s “future;” also, racism is OK; also, you’re not safe)."

The Gift of Black Children's Books: a $1,000 Donation for Denene Millner Books | MyBrownBaby

The passionate plea I gave during a recent National Book Club Conference panel on the state of black children’s books is one I’ve long made: that it’s high time Black parents embrace the idea that the most thoughtful, educational, beautiful gift one can give to kids is black children’s books. An audience member HEARD me and responded in a way that blew me away: she donated $1,000 to get Denene Millner Books into the hands of 100 children here in GA. YES!

The Gift of Black Children’s Books: a $1,000 Donation for Denene Millner Books

The passionate plea I gave during a recent National Book Club Conference panel on the state of black children's books is one I've long made: that it's high time Black parents embrace the idea that the most thoughtful, educational, beautiful gift one can give to kids is black children's books. It's a simple concept, really, but it still strikes some parents as an extravagant expenditure: who, after all, has $17.99 to spend on a picture book? [ 375 more words ]


Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut (Denene Millner Books)

Oh heeeeeey: "CROWN: An Ode to the Fresh Cut," Derrick Barnes' new picture book celebrating how little boys feel when they climb into the barber's chair to get fly, is on deep discount at Amazon. What you waiting for? Get the pre-order price. You want this Denene Millner Books offering on your baby's bookshelf. Ask Publisher's Weekly, Kirkus, Booklist and the School Library Journal, all of which gave "CROWN" ridiculously dope reviews. YES!

Turn Down For What: How To Sleepover Like A MOM

This. Right. Here. I need it. I want it. Gotta have it. Because my squad is BAE.

Teacher rewrites rap song for geography lesson, kids go crazy (and learn)

Yessssssssss! Meeting the babies where they are, appealing to their interests and natural rhythms will help them bring home the win--every single time. AND MyBrownBaby assistant editor Ida Harris wrote that home run!

Yo, I completely remember the day in sixth grade when a classmate, Kim, got her period for the first time. It was still warm out—summertime—and she was wearing white pants. All the boys were pointing, the girls were equal parts giggly/terrified. And poor Kim, already the class outcast because she was quiet and poor and considered not-so-cute, had one more thing to overcome: the embarrassment of getting her period and having everyone know it. I was so sad for her that day. And paranoid that the same thing would happen to me. I let that be a lesson and put together my own ragtag kit from an assortment of pads I collected from a kit my mom bought for me at the behest of our health teacher. And when my own daughters started going through their own puberty phase, I tucked a similar kit in their book bags just in case, so that they wouldn’t be caught in the hallway like Kim was back in the day. I was reminded of this when I saw this dope @AmazeParents period kit how-to graphic that helps us moms get those period supplies together with the same get-to-it that we have when it comes to stocking backpacks with pencils and notebooks for back-to-school season. Check out "Puberty in Girls: Getting Your Period" video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RX4NJrJxwss), too, for great info on how to get your baby—and you—ready. Because you know, if you stay ready, then you don’t need to get ready. Share this post with your parent friends/communities to help prepare girls with the supplies/info they need! #AmazeBTS

Instagram post by Denene Millner • Aug 28, 2017 at 2:11pm UTC

Another starred review for "Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut"—this one from Publisher's Weekly! #DeneneMillnerBooks Did. Not. Come. To. Play. With. You. Congrats to @raisingthemighty, dealer of dope words, and @gordonjamesfineart, pusher of dope arts. Grace your baby's bookshelves—they deserve to wear the Crown! Buy it here: http://bit.ly/CrownDMB

NFL Boycott: Why We Won’t be Yelling “Touchdown” on Sundays | MyBrownBaby

"He’s decided to boycott & I’ve got his back. No fantasy football for me this year. No hot wings, potato salad and margaritas during Sunday football fundays. I hope more families at least engage in the conversation about boycotting. I get it. Boycotting is not for everyone. But I think it’s important to start a dialogue about what’s going on, why it’s going on and why it’s unjust. We need to be mindful of the industries we as Black people support with our money, time and passion."

NFL Boycott: Why We Won’t be Yelling “Touchdown” on Sundays

NFL Boycott: Why We Won’t be Yelling “Touchdown” on Sundays


In Children's Storybooks, Realism Has Advantages

"The findings from the study reinforce the idea that young children have an easier time exporting what they learn from a fictional storybook to the real world when the storybook is realistic. The leap from a fictional human to a real one is simply smaller than the leap from an anthropomorphic raccoon to a human. But it could be that as children grow older they become better at making these leaps, or that parents can help them make the leaps more readily." Now imagine what a book featuring realistic Black characters doing everyday things does for brown babies. When you see yourself, you celebrate the good in you. The beauty of you. The God in you. Say word. #DeneneMillnerBooks

Dearest, Detroit the Movie Ain't For Us: Dodging Black Trauma

Dear Black parents: If you are planning a movie run with the youngins to see "Detroit"—don’t. This is definitely not the film you want to use for a bonding or teaching moment. Know this: the film is everything vile, disgusting, and bastardly that we already know about whiteness, filmed in High Definition (HD). It optimizes brutish police violence inflicted on young innocent Black bodies and magnifies their angst. Neither the babies nor you need to see this. Trust. Ida Harris​ breaking down the new film "Detroit," so it'll forever be broke, today on MyBrownBaby.

"The Talk" Is Selling Soap, Not Social Justice

"It’s not enough to talk the talk. I’d like to see some influence others to walk the walk, to speak out and act boldly against racial bias as well, instead of leaving it up to big business exploitation to merely spark these conversations in the name of selling more soap, more detergent, more diapers, and even more bullshit to fill them up." The homie, Ida Harris​, making it plain.

Happy Book Birthday, "There's a Dragon in My Closet," plus a new Good Night, MyBrownBaby

"There’s a Dragon in My Closet," the latest offering from the Denene Millner Books​imprint, penned by Dorothea Taylor and illustrated by the incredible Charly Palmer, is in stores today! Three cheers for invisible friends—and especially the beauty of Black children’s imaginations, celebrated in these pages. Links to buy copies for your babies, yo nephews and nieces, your local library and daycare center, your neighbor's grands, your church youth ministry room and everybody else are in the link. #SupportBlackBooks #WeNeedDiverseBooks #BlackBoyJoy

Happy Book Birthday “There’s a Dragon in My Closet,” Plus, Goodnight, MyBrownBaby!

Happy Book Birthday "There's a Dragon in My Closet," Plus, Goodnight, MyBrownBaby!


Opinion | How We Make Black Girls Grow Up Too Fast

"But for black girls, home is both refuge and where your most intimate betrayals happen. You cannot turn off that setting. It is the dining room at your family’s house, served with a side of your uncle’s famous ribs. Home is where they love you until you’re a ho."

Opinion | Want Teenage Boys to Read? Easy. Give Them Books About Sex.

"My new novel portrays a young boy’s emotional, heteroflexible sex life — and I’d like young people to read it. But it’s being published for adults, partly because the guardians of young people’s literature get so easily riled up about sex, preferring to recommend, say, books about teenagers slaughtering one another in a post-apocalyptic landscape, rather than books about kids masturbating at home."

Train Up A Child: Talking and Teaching Black Children Sexual Responsibility

News of a lawsuit accusing Usher of infecting a partner with herpes, and the woman's decision to have sex with him despite that she allegedly saw green discharge on his, well, you know, should have ALL of us thinking about sexual health. And parents should be having that same conversation with our kids, equipping them with knowledge on sexually transmitted disease (STD) and the discernment they need to protect themselves, and others, from experiencing sexual napalm. Ida Harris​ breaks it down, today on MyBrownBaby​.

Opinion | If Americans Love Moms, Why Do We Let Them Die?

"We love mothers, or at least we say we do, and we claim that motherhood is as American as apple pie.

We’re lying. In fact, we’ve structured health care so that motherhood is far more deadly in the United States than in other advanced countries. An American woman is about five times as likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth as a British woman — partly because Britain makes a determined effort to save mothers’ lives, and we don’t."

There's a Dragon in My Closet (Denene Millner Books)

Popped over to Amazon to have a look at "There's a Dragon in My Closet," the latest on the Denene Millner Books line. It's #23 on the best-selling children's African American story books—two weeks before officially being in book stores. YES! Keep it coming. Have you ordered your copy yet? Bless yo baby's bookshelves with this little chocolate drop and his mischievous dragon!

Opinion | Let Black Kids Just Be Kids

"The problem, however, is that every time we insist that the gates of innocence open to children of color, we limit ourselves by language, a “frame,” as the linguist George Lakoff would say, that is embedded in racism. When we argue that black and brown children are as innocent as white children, and we must, we assume that childhood innocence is purely positive. But the idea of childhood innocence itself is not innocent: It’s part of a 200-year-old history of white supremacy.

It’s time to create language that values justice over innocence...."

Black Motherhood In The Spotlight

I had an INCREDIBLE conversation about Black motherhood on NPR's "On Point," centered on what it means to have Beyoncé and #SerenaWilliams put their pregnancies and new mom pics on display. Our collective take (shout out to co-conspirator and passionate activist Gloria Malone): Beyoncé and Serena's celebration of motherhood humanizes Black moms and helps to tamp down stereotypes about how we make, raise and love our babies. Indeed, the discussion is the very foundation of my website, MyBrownBaby, and my new book, "MyBrownBaby: On the Joys and Challenges of Raising African American Children." Curious thing, though: the host, Tom Ashbrook, took callers and of all those who had questions and comments, the two Black men who got on the line spent all their energy saying our conversation and observations were a waste of time, irrelevant and unfounded. Of course, I let them have it because... Denene. But what on earth would possess two Black men to take time out of their busy day to pick up a phone, find the studio number, wait on hold to be picked to talk, and then spend precious time and breath saying the concerns of Black moms do not matter? That Black women do not matter? I held my own, but truly, I'm absolutely floored when Black men REFUSE to understand how the intersection of race and gender--and the stereotypes, pain, devaluation and harm that comes from it--harm us, their sisters. It immediately made me think of how we grappled with this very topic--the imbalance of Black men's support of Black women compared to how hard we go in supporting Black men--on a recent episode of A Seat At The Table (http://www.gpb.org/television/shows/a-seat-at-the-table/episode/7edfb6bb-3534-474b-acd9-7ea3e07a2123#.WXH0xWmpkN0.link) I invite you to listen and watch.

Perspective | Making the case for teen driving reparations

"I plan to use my reparations by running the errands I hate. On Friday evening, when each child wants a different takeout dinner, I will be in the passenger seat playing license plate games. She will drive me to the nail salon and doctor appointments and wait in the car (check emails or bring your laptop as I have done while waiting for you many times, my darling). I may even spend my reparation driving time sitting in the back seat talking about my day. Oh, the possibilities!" Kimberly Seals Allers is genius. So too, apparently, is Totally Lila, who is so up on game, she's straight dragging her feet getting that license. She ain't slick.

The Jay-Z 4:44 Album: Can Black Men and Women Finally Have an Honest Talk?

Yes, absolutely, we've talked about Jay and Bey incessantly. But I'm loving this perspective from Keka Araújo​ in her debut piece for MyBrownBaby. The jist: it's time we all stopped pointing fingers and actually TALKING to one another about what we want and what we're capable of giving—and acting accordingly. Check out Keka's perspective, today on MyBrownBaby.

R. Kelly Is Holding Women Against Their Will In An Abusive “Cult,” Parents Told Police

I legit read this story waiting for the paragraph laying out how a group of daddies, uncles, boy cousins and the like beat the shit out of this pedophile and got their girls' back. But I see folks still out here treating this trash like he's Boko Haram—like he can destroy entire villages in one fell swoop and not be held accountable for the crimes he's committed across swaths of communities. What. The. Hell. Is. So. Magical. About. This. Negro. That. He. Ain't. Had. Some. Hood. Justice. Yet? Better yet, why are we not protecting Black girls from this menace to society?

When Black Hair Violates The Dress Code

"Mystic Valley has put out a statement in defense of its dress code policy, stating that the restrictions on hair extensions exist so that the school can promote equity. Hair extensions — it reads — can be expensive." BRUH. This has to be the most ridiculous, boneheaded logic I've EVER heard for why Black girls are being barred from wearing their hair as they see fit. Like, really? REALLY?!

Grieving the Living - My Mamihood

"I have done all I could over the years. But, as the saying goes, I refuse to light myself on fire to keep anyone warm." Sili M. Recio's heartbreaking truth is full of much-needed lessons. Whoo! Hello, Good Morning.

To understand white liberal racism, read these private emails

“They would prefer to be ‘all lives matter,’ because then their child is included in the conversation about mattering,” she said. “What they don’t think is, would a black mother feel like her child matters, based upon the way that history, the nation, the city, the institutional structures, have treated her child? That’s not the process they’re using.”

The Root

Listen: Yaba Blay loves us. And in my book, she is a national treasure. Get you some of her soul food.