Denene Millner


My mom, New York Times bestselling author Denene Millner, blogs here at MyBrownBaby pretty much every day of the week, and a lot of times, she’s telling you all a LOT about me and my sister, Totally Lila. Today, while she’s off writing her 23rd book (a memoir with the R&B singer Charlie Wilson), I decided to take over the blog and shine the spotlight on her. Here, 25 things you don’t know about my mom.

1. She makes a crinkle nose face when she’s mad.

2. After she gets mad, her eyebrows will be frowned for about an hour, no matter what she’s doing. Even when she’s not mad anymore.

3. She goes into my closet to find clothes to wear, like it’s another store or something.

4. She goes outside to watch the sunset almost every night.

5. She hates when Lila and I come into the grocery store with her because we act a fool, but we still go in anyway. She can’t stop us from going in or acting a fool.

6. She and I made up this game to help us drink more water: we’ll gulp down a bunch of water, then we’ll burp really loudly while we pump our fists in the air. Between the laughing, we actually end up drinking a lot of water.

7. When she’s laughing really hard, she snorts.

8. Whenever I hear music playing in the kitchen downstairs, I know that she’s preparing dinner because she loves to listen to music and dance while she cooks. I’ve even caught her lip synching to Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild, Dwele, De La Soul and Tribe Called Quest. She was not embarrassed. At all.

9. She’s addicted to looking at shoes on the internet. I swear, she’ll tell me she’s about to write and I’ll come in an hour later to find her looking at heels on Pinterest.

10. She says she can do hair but I have locs and my sister won’t let her do any style other than twists, so nobody really believes her.

11. She’s so afraid of bugs that if we see one, we won’t even say anything, just so she won’t scream and run.

12. She says that in her dreams she can play the piano like Stevie Wonder. In real life, she can not. Though she did play the flute in high school.

13. She says that if she could sing like Ledisi, she would sing every word that came out of her mouth. And then she proceeds to do so. In my face. She does not sound like Ledisi.

14. One of her dreams in life is to see the northern lights.

15. She tries to teach me and Lila how to drink wine properly, but it doesn’t really work because I hate it and Lila’s obsessed with it. So I don’t care about what wine goes best with what food and what glass to use for white vs. red or how to swirl the wine around to release the tannins or whatever, and Mommy is worried Lila is going to grow up to be a bit of a lush.

16. We all want to go to the Caribbean someday, but she wants to go so that she can get really chocolate on the beach and have cute boys serve her cocktails.

17. She hates wearing socks, even when it’s 20 degrees outside. But she makes us wear sweaters, coats and gloves if the temperature is anywhere south of 65 degrees.

18. In order to get me to do something that I don’t want to do, she’ll make me feel guilty by saying things like: “I held you in my stomach for almost ten months,” and “I let you feed from my breasts,” and “I changed your dirty diapers.”

19. She collects Black children’s books. Her favorite is “Tar Beach,” by Faith Ringgold and “Dancing in the Wings,” by Debbie Allen.

20. She wins over all of my friends with big hugs and juicy kisses.

21. She’s always making us eat healthy foods, but we all know her weaknesses are Almond Joy and Hershey’s with Almonds bars, strawberry ice cream, gummy bears, chocolate chip cookies from Whole Foods and Panera and chicken and waffles.

22. She loves the pool in theory. She never gets in it.

23. For someone who’s never played sports before, she’s probably the loudest mom on the sidelines when Lila and I play soccer and softball. She even knows what’s happening on the field now. Kinda.

24. In her next life she’s going to be an interior designer. She has our house looking pretty good.

25. I have to end it with something nice to say (she told me I have to) but I can’t think of anything else to write, except that I love her and she’s the best mom in the world. (She told me to say that too. I would have anyway.)

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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. Love it! Great post.

  2. That was a really great post!! I love it!

  3. I enjoyed reading this. It was so sweet!

  4. OMG – How sweet is this!!? 🙂 e

  5. I love it! Miss Denene and Mr. Nick are raising you up right, honey. I take cues from your parents. Your mama and papa have inspired me for 15+ years. You and your sister are a combination of everything that is wonderful about Denene and Nick. You are a beautiful young lady and I know your mom and dad are super proud.

  6. Great post Mari! It made me smile. She’s not the only one with the eyebrow issue 🙂

  7. Outstanding! Tops for sure 5,8,9, 10-lol, 17-so true, 23-love, and 25-love. So much to be proud of. Thanks for sharing your mom with the world! Run to your destiny dear girl and shine!

  8. The best post ever!!

  9. OMG! The cutest kid post ever. Totally Denene’s kid. Love this. My kids would say I curse like a sailor… #carryon LOL

  10. This made me smile. Like, hard and wide.

  11. I bet your mom is really prooud of you. I wish someday I have a daughter who can write about me with as much love and so much forgiveness…

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