The Power of Your Voice

I’m spotlighting my SHEROES in honor of Women’s History Month to celebrate the wonderful people we know in real life, and make them the true celebrities!

I asked Denene Millner — New York Times best-selling author and national parenting expert: Why is it important for women to create and produce their own work? What is your vision for your imprint?

Here’s what she said:

We women have such incredible voice — voice flavored with experiences that are all-at-once unique and interesting, intelligent and colorful. Beautiful. Necessary. When we lean into that voice, when we show that perspective in our art, we touch and teach — show that there is great value in diversity of thought. Great value in being exactly who we are, without apology. What’s the use in trying to fit the grandness of us into a sliver of what a patriarchal society thinks is appropriate and right? We should have absolutely no interest in playing ourselves small. When we create, produce and tell our own stories, we harvest truth. Creating and producing our own work, then, is about the pursuit of truth. Our truth. It gives us wings.

This is certainly the impetus behind why I founded Denene Millner Books, my children’s book imprint. I want children of all races and cultures to crack open these books and see the humanity of African American children — to understand that their stories are so much more colorful and interesting and beautiful and normal than those narratives that consistently find their way into our spaces. Black children — and, by extension, our families — are largely ignored in the children’s book space, and in mainstream media, they are made to be either pariahs or victims. My intent is to give us the proper airing we deserve. These books will be a love letter to the beauty and humanity of us.

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