Insightful, engaging and wickedly funny, Denene Millner is uniquely positioned to give voice to the fears and dreams of African-American young men and women known to many as the hip hop generation. Too young to have personally felt the struggles and pain of the civil rights movement, but old and wise enough to know that America has turned its back on the promises for which that movement toiled, the 30-and-under African-American community that Millner represents has developed its own style of living, of loving, of striving, of surviving, that will dramatically influence the American landscape in the coming century--from the marketplace to the art world.
There are few writers and commentators who see the world through this generation’s eyes, who absorb the babble through its ears. And fewer still who can interpret it all with a style of their own that enchants and entertains audiences across the age and race spectrum. Millner is in a class all by herself.
Reviewers and readers hailed her best-selling book on dating and loving in the 1990’s, The Sistahs’ Rules: Secrets for Meeting, Getting, and Keeping a Good Black Man. Years after its publication in the summer of 1997, the book is still showing up on best-sellers lists and is deemed by many a classic of the genre--when the NBA was looking for a guide to help its rookie millionaires decipher the do’s and don’ts of dating, the league turned to The Sistahs’ Rules. The New York Times called Millner’s touch "bombastic and softhearted." People Magazine called the book an "often hilarious guide." The Washington Post praised Millner for her "upbeat attitude and amusing insights." In Newsday, the reviewer said Millner’s book "contains surprising wisdom coming from someone so young."
As she toured the country promoting this book, Millner connected with black women and men of her generation across America, seeing first-hand what it is that causes them anguish and what pushes them to strive for greatness. Their frustrations are not the same as their parents’; their goals for themselves are often far loftier, but at the same time their expectations for the nation have been beaten down to a pittance.
In the course of her work as an entertainment reporter at the New York Daily News, Millner saw another side of the hip hop generation, chronicling the influential movers and shakers who gave the generation its name. When she joined the Daily News’ features staff, she quickly carved a niche as one of the few journalists to write knowledgably about African-American culture. Queen Latifah, Brandy, Terry McMillan, Mase, Don Cheadle, Spike Lee, Vivica A. Fox, Ice Cube, Brian McKnight, Mary J. Blige and Jada Pinkett Smith are just a few of the artists that she has profiled. In March 2001, Millner left the Daily News to become a Senior Editor at Honey magazine, where she eventually became Executive Editor before joining Parenting magazine. There, between assigning and editing features and plotting out stories on child development, baby gear, and arts & crafts, she served as the magazine’s toy editor, finding, playing with, and predicting the year’s hottest playthings—literally becoming a true-to-life version of the Tom Hanks character in the hit movie, Big. After two years with Parenting, Millner became a columnist and contributing editor for the magazine, and currently doles out parenting advice for its ethics and etiquette column, Reality Check.
Talking about and nurturing kids is nothing new for Millner. Even in her spare time, she absorbed the views of young African-Americans. On Saturdays, she could be found in Harlem, working for hours at two of her passions: as a writing instructor at the Legal Outreach, Inc., a program that prepares high school students for careers in law; and with her husband Nick Chiles, she was the editorial director for Harlem Overheard, a children’s newspaper with a circulation of nearly 20,000.
Before becoming a part of the Daily News’ features staff, Millner was a political reporter in the City Hall bureau, covering city government, local politics, and issues affecting the City Council, social services, youth and people of color. She also covered the 1993 mayoral race between David Dinkins and Rudy Giuliani, and produced a weekly column on Brooklyn politics.
Millner has written for Honey, VIBE, Essence, TV Guide, Interview, Heart and Soul, BET Weekend, American Visions and Black Elegance. She was the recipient of the 1997 New York Association of Black Journalists’ Arts and Entertainment Writing Award. Millner got her start in journalism with The Associated Press, with whom she began working shortly after graduating from Hofstra University with a BA in Print Journalism and Graphic Arts in 1990. With the AP, Millner worked as a general assignment reporter in both the Newark, N.J., and Albany, N.Y., bureaus before becoming a political reporter in the AP’s New York capitol bureau.
While at Hofstra, Millner interned for Long Island Newsday, from which she won the 1986 Minorities in Communication award -- a four-year, full-tuition scholarship. Twelve years later, she returned to her alma mater as an adjunct professor, teaching beginning journalism to young writing hopefuls.
Millner is a native of Long Island. She resides in the metro Atlanta area with her husband, writer Nick Chiles, and their daughters Mari and Lila. They co-authored the three-book relationships series "What Brothers Think, What Sistahs Know: The Real Deal on Love and Relationships," "What Brothers Think, What Sistahs Know About Sex," and "Money, Power, Respect: What Brothers Think, What Sistahs Know," which received a 2001 Gold Pen Award nomination from the Black Writers Alliance for best finance nonfiction book, and three novels, “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore,” “In Love and War,” and “A Love Story.” Millner is also co-author, along with Mitzi Miller and Angela Burt-Murray, of the humor book “The Angry Black Woman’s Guide to Life,” and the upcoming novel, “The Vow.”