Throughout her career, Denene Millner has focused on building platforms that highlight the experiences of African American people. The journalist and mother of two decided to start a parenting website, MyBrownBaby, in 2008 after noticing that black moms were rarely considered as an audience—except during discussions of teen pregnancy or the school-to-prison pipeline. Her voice resonated. So far, the award-winning blog has posted more than 2,000 times on everything from black hair to discrimination in the workplace. Millner, 50, is also the best-selling author of more than two dozen books and started a successful children’s imprint, which includes titles about colorism and black diversity.
Given her background, it’s no surprise that Georgia Public Broadcasting called on Millner when it wanted to create A Seat at the Table, a talk show geared toward black women. With cohosts Monica Pearson—the legendary former Channel 2 anchor—and entertainment lawyer Christine White, Millner tackles contemporary topics, including black maternal mortality, mental health, and generational differences among women. “It allows me to say exactly what’s on my mind without censoring myself, without trying to code-switch or speak in a way that’s going to make you comfortable if you’re not an African American woman,” she says. “You don’t tend to get that from black women, because there’s a price to pay when you’re like that in predominantly white spaces.”
The show has garnered many fans—including, surprisingly, white men—and, for Millner, it’s an exciting next step in her career of representing black voices by simply being herself. “In this space, we are encouraged to play ourselves exactly the way we are,” she says. ”What more could I ask for than to be able to be authentically Denene?”