MyBrownBaby Fresh: What We’re Reading, Doing, Watching and Listening To This Week

Who, chile what a week! I FINALLY wrapped up a short story for a groundbreaking project I’m working on with a team of some of our favorite African American female novelists, wrote a couple of freelance pieces for two magazines, accompanied both my daughters on separate field trips, and dealt with the madness that took over the comments section in MyBrownBaby contributor Kia Morgan Smith’s post, “J. Crew Can Keep Its Nail Polish: I Want My Boy To Be A Boy.” Kudos to Kia for being brave enough to share her opinion on the subject and a special “thank you” to the commenters who kept it classy and super-thoughtful when it would have been so easy to follow suit and act a fool in the comments section, including Brooke at Love’s Gumbo, Teresha of Marlie and Me, GradMommy, and Tokeya. You are appreciated *in my Tupac, Dear Mama voice*

Somehow, despite all the of the running around and craziness, I managed to actually get in some quality reading on the innanets. Here’s what I’m reading, doing, watching and listening and looking forward to this week:


Chantilly Patiño’s “I'm White, My Daughter is Latina, and I Buy Black Dolls” on New Latina. In it, Chantilly recalls the rampant racism she witnessed heaped on black folk when she was growing up in the 70s, 80s, and 90s and what she’s doing in her own home to change perceptions of people of color beginning with what she puts in her daughter’s toy chest. She writes: “I buy black dolls for my daughter because I want her to understand the value of everyone, regardless of color. I buy black dolls because I know that the media is filled with negative images and it presents a challenge for our kids to grow up feeling good about dark skin.  I buy black dolls because I want to change the norm.” #heart.


ModernMami’s “On Being Told To Go Back,” a beautiful post about her experience with colorism. In it, she writes about being told as a child to, “go back to Africa” even though she’s from Puerto Rico and, to this day, being followed around the store by salespeople who claim they’re trying to “help” her shop. The piece, which ponders what her experience means for her biracial, multicultural, brown babies, is right on time considering my new home state, Georgia, just passed a stupid ass law that follows in the footsteps of the Arizona law that anyone with sense knows is nothing more than state-sanctioned racial profiling. SMDH.



Carolyn Edgar’s “Single Mommy Blues” on CocoaMamas a piece that really sheds light on the challenge of parenting alone. The part where she talks about wanting but being unable to nurture her son’s baseball talent will tug at your heart, as will her acknowledgement that mommy guilt eats at her and other single moms who are trying to make a way out of no way. Stop by and give her a cyberhug; she deserves to know she’s not alone in this.



On Mary J. Blige’s new video, “Someone to Love Me,” featuring P. Diddy and Lil’ Wayne. I don’t know about y’all, but the reunion of Mary and Diddy on a hot track is taking me back to the “My Life” days, when the two of them together were pure magic. Put the hump in your back on this one…



DIG…’s special coverage of Henry Louis Gates’ upcoming series, Black in Latin America: The Other African Americans. The website put together an extensive series of articles and multi-media exploring the black experience in Latin America, making note that, “less than 5 percent of the 11.5 million Africans wrenched into slavery ended up in the United States. That's one reason Editor-in-Chief Henry Louis Gates Jr. decided to explore the lives and cultures of blacks from Brazil to Haiti, from Peru to Mexico Black in Latin America: The Other African Americans will air on PBS stations for four consecutive weeks on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. (EST), beginning April 19, 2011. *grabs remote and sets the DVR*

Happy reading, watching and listening, sweeties and have a fantastic weekend!


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Denene Millner

Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.


  1. Very much appreciate the inclusion. It’s unbelievable in so many ways, yet, not really in others, that this stuff is still going on…off to read some of these posts!

  2. Love the Someone to Love me video and song!!!

  3. Barbara Soloski Albin

    Thank you for all the information. I will set my DVR for Dr. Gates, wonderful man. I wrote to him about a year ago after watching his series on searching for “your roots” and explained my husband’s family history and the work we had done after the Berlin Wall came down. I did not expect to receive a reply as it was noted that he could not reply to everyone, but he did reply with a very nice note.

  4. Off-Topic: I admire the manner in which you professionally managed your “place of business” ( concerning the J.Crew/Kia Morgan/Commenters discussion. As a new “customer” (visitor to your blog) I will indeed return! Just like any good manager/ owner, you initially allowed your “staff” (Kia) to handle the matter. It’s only when the situation escalated that you stepped in as the “owner/manager” to moderate, defuse, and redirect. When you encountered a “customer” who after repeated, polite requests failed to respect your “place of business” you showed that customer the door. I recogonize that your blog is your job. And just like a brick and mortar concern—you should expect a certain level of civility from visitors. Your site, your content, your rules. Bravo to you!

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