Cue the confetti! Toss up the glitter! Turn my music up high! Today, we’re celebrating MyBrownBaby’s fifth anniversary—five years of delicious, insightful, smart, funny, irreverent musings on the intersection of parenting and race. *insert image of Denene wopping it out* (Wait, dang: am I showing my age with the Wop? Whatevs. Cue some vintage LL or De La or Rakim—I’ll show you how it’s doooone!)
What? I’m super geeked about my 5th Blogoversary: in five years, MyBrownBaby has become the premiere destination for advice and intelligent thought on Black parenting, winning countless awards and accolades for the myriad of stories pulled together by me and my crew of Pulitzer Prize-winning writers, award-winning poets, relationship experts and, most important, loving, dedicated, introspective parents who lend their voices to the pages of MyBrownBaby.
When I wrote my first blog post—it questioned the voracity of the media’s refusal to hold then-Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin accountable for touting abstinence and waging war against sex ed in schools, even as her then-teen daughter, Bristol Palin, announced her pregnancy—I had no idea it would be so well-received. Or that writing editorial content in a digital forum would be so addictive. Or that MyBrownBaby would turn into a full-fledged parenting website that would attract and enjoy more than 1 million visits, be read by thousands of subscribers, and attract the attention from and be lauded by prestigious media organizations from the Today show, HLN and NPR to Essence, Ebony, Jet, Babble and Parenting.
By now, most of my faithful MyBrownBaby readers know that I make a living from my writing; for almost two decades, most every article/column/essay/book I’ve pushed out of my MacBok Pro has helped feed, clothe, and sustain my family. But I don’t just write to get paid; indeed, writing to me is an art–a creative, cathartic outlet that allows me to sketch and paint and color thoughtful prose I hope makes people really think about the human condition, and all the ways we affect it, especially when it comes to the exploration of my culture and my people. As a woman, a wife, and a mom of two girl pies, I’m also pretty passionate about issues that specifically speak to the plight of my gender and especially the rearing and loving of beautiful brown babies.
Every once in a while, I cycle through the MyBrownBaby posts—there are more than 1,450 of them!—and really glom into the writing. I promise you, even with countless magazine cover stories and entertainment features, even with 21 books under my belt (the 22nd is due out in Spring 2014. We will celebrate that when the time is right!), nothing reads better to this writer than the stories I’ve shared about my babies, our family and motherhood. I’ve gotten quite personal over the years—spilled my heart in words that are deeply heartfelt. Soul baring. Very much so.
And so to celebrate MyBrownBaby’s fifth anniversary, I took the liberty of pulling together nine of my favorite MyBrownBaby blog posts and pouring them into an eBook designed especially for you, the best website audience any writer could ever have. In The Best Of MyBrownBaby, there are essays about birth, breastfeeding, raising self-confident girls, defending Black beauty, the fear that comes with raising Black boys, discipline, facing off against racism on the playground, grappling with the “N” word, grandparent bonding and the importance of family.
It is a strong book—one that you simply will not find on bookshelves (trust, I’m incredibly disgusted that the Black parenting experience is nowhere to be found on store shelves, and that most mainstream parenting websites, magazines and books continue to act as if our stories fit into a one-size-fits-all parenting narrative). And look at you, getting the best book about Black parenting for free and stuff! Want one?
And then tell your friends all about MyBrownBaby, our new Black parenting eBook, and the incredible movement we’ve built here over the last five years. And get this: we’ve got another five years in us, for sure. Watch. Us. Work.
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.