I had no idea that Angelou and I would hit it off like this. I mean, I met her in a whirlwind weekend back in 1995; she graduated law school in Florida on a Saturday, and got hitched on the Sunday. I walked around the wedding in a borrowed African caftan, hiding behind a video camera, feeling way nervous about being introduced to damn near every member of my then-boyfriend's (now-husband's) family, but especially his beloved little sister, who seemed so hip and worldly and fresh. Iconic, to hear Nick tell it.

Angelou put on no airs. Just opened her arms and welcomed me to the family.

And slowly, steadily, surely, she became the sister I never had my giggle partner, my retail therapy enabler, the co-president of my We Love Black Movies Unconditionally Even the Bad Ones club, my girl you ain't gonna believe this! confidante, my shoulder to cry on no questions asked. She wears my shoes; I borrow her purses. A fiercely independent businesswoman (Angelou is an environmentalist who founded Greening Youth, her own non-profit environmental education program for kids), she gives me advice on running my own company and coaxes me to get out more I whip up coconut cakes and 11-cheese macaroni & cheese for her holiday parties and hook up her music collection with Chrisette Michelle and vintage Teena Marie. Our children are the best of friends, as are our husbands.

And somehow, we never tire of one another.

I love my husband for many reasons, a big one being that he has a little sister who inspires me to be a better mother, a better wife, a better friend, and a better woman, especially to myself. Every girl deserves a bestest friend like this the one ready to run to the wall full speed with a rocket strapped to her back, just for you. For sure, Angelou is that friend to me not the one who would bail me out of jail, but the one who would be sitting right next to me in the jail cell, talking about, Damn, that was fun!

The one who is as close to a sister a sisterless girl could get.

Happy *mumbles age under breath, into palm of her hand* birthday, my love. Here's to family, friendship, camaraderie, and, above all else, love. May you be blessed with the years it'll take to see the success you want, the happiness you deserve, and some great, great grands.

Live your life like it's GOLDEN.

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  1. This is really sweet. Makes me a bit teary-eyed. My sister-in-law are nothing like this at all. Sigh. I have tried.

    But that’s my jam right there!

    Heeey (fingersnap) What?! (fingersnap) That’s right.

  2. Wow–how lucky you are to have such an amazing friend in your SIL! That was a great post!

    Is she named after Maya Angelou?

    And–wait a minute–11 cheese macaroni and cheese!? You might have to share that recipe!!

  3. GYF Executive Director

    Why are you tryin’ to make me cry on my birthday!!!! Just know that there isn’t a purse purchased, business venture explored, argument with hubby settled, or teacher’s attitude quashed without consulting with you first. I love you too!
    Your BFF ;0)

  4. Yes, my little sister IS a talented, funny, loving, beautiful angel! This is something I’ve known for the past, uh, blankblank years—let’s just say that realization dawned way back when Michael Jackson was still black and Lionel Richie was still cool. Happy birthday, Little Sis! I heart you!

    Yo Big Bro

  5. Every girl should have such a friend. You are blessed to have that kind of friend in your SIL. And it’s obvious that you know it and appreciate it. She, too, is blessed to have such an appreciative friend in you.

    Thanks for stopping by today!

  6. Renée aka Mekhismom

    Happy Birthday Angelou! What a wonderful tribute to Angelou. Angelou I am so glad that you came out from under the rock to comment on Denene’s blog and enjoy your birthday wishes. I feel so very blessed like Denene to have you as my BFF too! I Love you girl and may our next couple of decades (oh, I meant,nevermind) together be as joyous! Enjoy your special day girlie!

  7. MBB Founder and Editor Denene Millner


    Yes, Maya Angelou is her namesake.

    And if you're REALLY nice, I just might post that macaroni & cheese recipe tomorrow…

    Thanks to ALL of you for stopping by and showing my BFF some love on her B-day!

  8. Happy Birthday Angelou! Here’s to many more birthdays celebrated; and more lives touched with your special inspiration, warmth and love.

    Happy Sikukuu Ya Kuzaliwa Girl!


  9. TattooedMinivanMom

    Awww…very sweet. Happy birthday cool sister in law!

  10. Jennae @ Green Your Decor

    Luckily, I have exactly that kind of relationship with my sister-in-law. I have 2 sisters, but somehow I’m closer with the one that I chose instead of the ones who are related by blood.

    Wish Angelou a very Happy Birthday from one green lady to another 🙂 And we’re both December babies too.

  11. Angelou, BIG UP YUSELF (as we say back home)! I can totally see why you and MBH (Sorry,Denene! Nick started it w/ MyBrownWifie — which is toooo cute, so I’m using MyBrownHomie) hit it off so well. Both of you are two of the coolest women on the planet, real talk! Happy Earthday, Ang!

  12. that is really sweet! bappy bday SIL…man, i love mine. i’m glad ur blessed too!

  13. So sweet. I wish her all the best!!

  14. Happy Birthday BFF!

    Yes, every woman needs to have that partner in crime, tell it to you straight, chocolate sharing, cocktail holding, laughing while she’s picking your butt up BFF.

    Loved it today. 🙂

  15. Michele@Integrated Mother

    What a beautiful post to celebrate Angelou’s birthday. I have a similar heart connection w/ my BFF with whom I never tire and could sit talking endlessly with. Gotta love ’em and the people who bring them into our lives.

  16. I have a great friend like that. She is very precious to me, and yes, we laugh our asses off when we get in trouble together.

    great post, girl.

  17. Happy birthday. I wish I could find a true friend like that! You two are lucky.

  18. Happy Birthday! So touching, I’m getting teary-eyed!

  19. Christie-A Work In Progress

    That was so sweet! You two are very lucky to have each other! Reminds me of my little sister and BFF. Great post (as always)

  20. I too have a best friend who has changed my life is so many ways. You are blessed!

  21. What a beautiful relationship the two of you have…you are very blessed indeed! Happy Birthday to the beautiful lady in your life. 🙂

  22. mama's got moxie

    that was beautiful!

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