As a mother and a parenting blogger, I have read quite a few parenting books. I prefer the more personal genre of parenting books written by actual parents because I enjoy reading about the experiences of other mothers and fathers raising kids. I also enjoy parenting books filled with irreverent humor. When recently offered the chance to review My Brown Baby written by Denene Millner in exchange for my honest opinion, I eagerly accepted the opportunity to add a new title to my home library. The paperback book currently costs $11.00 on Amazon with a list price of $16.00. The Kindle version currently costs $10.45.
Currently residing in Atlanta with her husband and two daughters, author Denene Millner is a New York Times best-selling author, award-winning journalist, and contributing editor at Agate Publishing where she directs the Denene Millner Books imprint. She has written twenty-five books and is the found of MyBrownBaby, a critically acclaimed blog that examines the intersection of parenting and race from which the book My Brown Baby comes. She is also the author of Early Sunday Morning.
Ebony has described the MyBrownBaby website as the “best site for thoughtful, fierce advice about parenting from a Black perspective.” Denene Millner has been using her critically acclaimed website for almost a decade to publish thought-provoking, insightful, and sometimes wickedly funny commentary about African American motherhood from pregnancy and child-rearing to relationships and the politics of parenting black children. After publishing almost 2,000 posts, Millner has curated the website content into the collection found in My Brown Baby. The unique book offers perspectives on the issues that moms of color and mothers of children of color face while raising their children. The book and the website acknowledge the issues that African American parents must confront that white parents of white children never will. The book chronicles these difference with open arms, a lot of love, and the deep belief that all parents want the same things for their families and children.
In case my readers are unaware, I must first state that I am a white mother raising white children. I also live in a predominantly white rural area. I therefore can read My Brown Baby only as a white mother of white children. With that said, I intellectually understand that moms of colors and mothers of children of color face many differences in raising their families. Such differences should not exist in this day and age but do. Being black in America is harder and more unjust than most white Americans realize or want to accept. My Brown Baby brings these differences into the light, which I think is extremely powerful.
As I sat down to first read My Brown Baby, I found myself drawn in pretty quickly. The book is broken down into ten larger subject sections, and each section contains a number of shorter essays. Most of the essays are three to four pages in length. When I first sat down with the book, I intended to read just a few essays but quickly found myself two sections in. The text is written in an informal style that is easy to follow. Millner also interjects a wry sense of humor that makes the book humorous at times and just plain fun to read.
Finally, even though I am a white mom raising white children, I found My Brown Baby to be more accessible to parents of all types than a few of the other parenting books I have read. Millner is more down-to-earth. When I read about parents who are traveling the world or who are trying to hire the best live-in nanny, I feel like I do not quite fit in the world described. Based on the essays included in the book, Millner seems like a mom who could live next door to me in my humble little rural town. Her parenting experiences are much more accessible to more parents around the country.
If you are looking for a new parenting book to read, I highly recommend My Brown Baby written by Denene Millner. While the book focuses on African American motherhood from pregnancy and child-rearing to relationships and the politics of parenting black children, I found the writing and essays quite accessible to parents of all colors. I found myself drawn in immediately to the short essays. As a white mother raising white children, I found the book insightful and powerful. Millner brings the differences that moms of colors and mothers of children of color face, which I consider extremely important in this day and age. My Brown Baby is a must-read for mothers raising children of color — and for parents everywhere.
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‘My Brown Baby’ Book Review © 2017 Heather Johnson
Front Cover of ‘My Brown Baby’ © 2017 Heather Johnson
Back Cover of ‘My Brown Baby’ © 2017 Heather Johnson