Girl Power: Author Denene Millner Launches Her Own Book Publishing Imprint to Share Authentic Stories and Illustrations of the Black Experience
To call Denene Millner accomplished is an understatement of the highest order as she is one of the most prolific writers in the entertainment, parenting and social media industries. The New York Times best-selling author has written and collaborated on 32 critically acclaimed books, including Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, cowritten with Steve Harvey; Around the Way Girl, a Memoir with actress Taraji P. Henson; The Vow, the novel on which the hit Lifetime movie With This Ring was based; and Fresh Princess: Style Rules, the second in a series inspired by Will Smith’s iconic character.
Denene is also the founder and editor of MyBrownBaby.com, an oft celebrated, award-winning website that examines parenting and motherhood through a distinctive multicultural lens. In addition, she is a co-host on the Emmy-nominated, Georgia Public Broadcasting talk show, “A Seat at the Table,” which gives voice to perspectives important to Black women.
Her experience as a tastemaker in the highly influential media world along with her for passionate advocacy for books featuring Black children and families led Denene to launch her own book publishing imprint, Denene Millner Books – a love letter to children of color who deserve to see their beauty and humanity in the written word.
Denene’s mission of sharing “everyday stories that color the worlds of Black children” grew out of her desire to avoid commonplace stories about historical figures and, instead, highlight Black joy influences. Her belief that children’s books can be used as a form of activism and can help broaden ALL children/people’s understanding of others is another guiding principle.
Launching her own publishing imprint enables her to seek out new writers and illustrators to publish, making a clear path for Black storytellers and artists.
The first three titles to be published under the Denene Millner Books imprint are ones that epitomize her core value of sharing authentic stories and illustrations of Black people, by Black people:
A high-spirited, engaging salute to the imagination of Black boys who use their beautiful minds to transform the mundane into the extraordinary.
The first young adult novel within the imprint, this is a celebration of Black Girl Magic.
I spoke with Denene to discuss her commitment to publishing children’s books that offer the Black experience through stories that counteract stereotypes and shine a light on Black people’s humanity.