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Golden Brooks Just Celebrated Her 50th Birthday And We're Shook

Brooks had us all out here collectively screaming "Oh, hell, yes!" as she took to Instagram to celebrate her jaw-dropping birthday.

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Twenty years ago, Mara Brock Akil gifted the culture with a sitcom that would single-handedly repurpose what it meant to see successful black women on prime time television. This gift ended up being the brilliantly black super-show,Girlfriends. Girlfriends changed the landscape of what it meant to be black women, as it depicted who we are when we step into our whole selves, giving us permission to step outside the confines of corporate America and simultaneously listen to our music, drink chai lattes, date as much as possible, and be black AF at the same damn time. We all loved us some Joan, Toni, Lynn, and the infamous Maya Denise Wilkes, and we still do.

Maya, played by Golden Brooks, immediately became a standout favorite, cementing her place as a cultural phenom who must be protected at all costs (liiiike, I'm serious--whatever that cost is to make sure sis is good, I'm writing the check).

Most recently, Brooks had us all out here collectively screaming "Oh, hell, yes!" as she took to Instagram to celebrate her jaw-dropping 50th birthday. And ladies, we were shooketh by the fact that she is somehow cheating the aging process, by not aging at all.

Since we don't believe there's a such thing as talking about Girlfriendstoo much around here, what better way to celebrate with her, than detailing how precious she is to black women.

So, Happy Birthday, Queen Golden! Here's 5 things about Golden Brooks we should all celebrate:

Golden understands the importance of using her platform to amplify the voices of black women.

Brooks is notorious for using her platform for good. Her social media is filled with references to in-demand messages, from getting out to vote, to wearing masks, all the way to the demand for justice for Breonna Taylor. In her latest movie, The Waiting Room, a BETher initiative to promote Breast Cancer Awareness, Brooks takes the time to visit the conversation of the importance of conducting self-checks. She shared with the New York Post:

"Sadly, [breast cancer] is a condition that really hits African-American women. It's a scary moment when you hear the diagnosis that you have breast cancer. Early detection is everything. As women, we just have to really be on it—so it's good to get those Pap smears and mammograms."

The Waiting Room takes a look at a broken relationship between Cynthia (Brooks) and her daughter, that's tested after Cynthia receives a cancer diagnosis and struggles to cope with the disease.

She adores her daughter (who is a real life Barbie, and the perfect blend of mom and dad).

In 2009, Brooks gave birth to her daughter, Dakota, who she often shows off on Instagram. Dakota, who's dad is DB Woodside (The Temptations, Suits, Lucifer) is an exact replica of both mom and dad, making her one of the luckiest girls in the world.

In a caption on Instagram, she wrote:

"I know you still like me to carry you like you're still a baby when you're sad, I know your favorite pass time is still snuggling up with me for our movie nights and I CANNOT believe my Dakota Woodside is going to the 6th grade!! So proud of you baby girl. These kids have seen a lot in these past few months. More than most in their lifetime. You handled it all like a boss kid!"

Golden often references Maya on her social media.

Nostalgia for the win! Listen, I don't know if who enjoys reminiscing about Maya more: me or Golden, but her social media is filled with enough hilarious Maya references and Girlfriends shout-outs to hug our worlds. Seeing her have fun with a character that we all hold as a staple, is almost too much to handle. She often repost fan clips of watching the show or checks in to see what episodes people are watching for the day.

"We made magic! ONE of my favs was this episode! With my talented @traceeellisross We ALL did the damn thang!! Will be forever grateful to ALL the gang!! Thank you guys for sharing all of these amazing clips!!"

Ah, my heart.

She gives us looks!

Don't let the age fool you, sis is not new to any of this. Brooks keeps up updated with various flawless selfies and pic posts through her social media accounts. One says, "Just taking in the LOVE." Another, "Just smile because..."

Golden is loving and supportive of everyone in black culture.

In addition to her Girlfriends, daughter, selfies, and awareness posts, Brooks is all about supporting and loving on those around her, particularly in the black culture. From Kobe, to Naya Rivera, to promoting friend's businesses. She sends prayers (Sinbad), wishes special birthdays (TV Husband, Khalil Kain), and more, Golden shows how much of a gem she really is.

Being a light in dark times, is such an underrated characteristic.


Thank you for everything, Golden!

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Featured image via Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com

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“The loss of hearing means a person can’t experience music in the conventional way,” she says. “I’ve always responded to bigger, bolder anthemic songs because I can feel them [the vibrations] in my body, and I want to be sure my music does this for deaf/HOH people and everyone.”

A Black woman wearing a black hijab and black and gold dress stands in between two men who are both wearing black pants and colorful jackets and necklaces

Amira Unplugged and other contestants on Becoming a Popstar

Amira Unplugged / MTV

In order to lift people’s spirits at the beginning of the pandemic, Amira began posting videos on TikTok of herself singing and using sign language so her music could reach her deaf fans as well. She was surprised by how quickly she was able to amass a large audience. It was through her videos that she caught the attention of a talent scout for MTV’s new music competition show for rising TikTok singers, Becoming a Popstar. After a three-month process, Amira was one of those picked to be a contestant on the show.

Becoming a Popstar, as Amira describes, is different from other music competition shows we’ve all come to know over the years. “Well, first of all, it’s all original music. There’s not a single cover,” she says. “We have to write these songs in like a day or two and then meet with our producers, meet with our directors. Every week, we are producing a full project for people to vote on and decide if they’d listen to it on the radio.”

To make sure her deaf/HOH audiences can feel her songs, she makes sure to “add more bass, guitar, and violin in unique patterns.” She also incorporates “higher pitch sounds with like chimes, bells, and piccolo,” because, she says, they’re easier to feel. “But it’s less about the kind of instrument and more about how I arrange the pattern of the song. Everything I do is to create an atmosphere, a sensation, to make my music a multi-sensory experience.”

She says that working alongside the judges–pop stars Joe Jonas and Becky G, and choreographer Sean Bankhead – has helped expand her artistry. “Joe was really more about the vocal quality and the timber and Becky was really about the passion of [the song] and being convinced this was something you believed in,” she says. “And what was really great about [our choreographer] Sean is that obviously he’s a choreographer to the stars – Lil Nas X, Normani – but he didn’t only focus on choreo, he focused on stage presence, he focused on the overall message of the song. And I think all those critiques week to week helped us hone in on what we wanted to be saying with our next song.”

As her star rises, it’s been both her Muslim faith and her friends, whom she calls “The Glasses Gang” (“because none of us can see!”), that continue to ground her. “The Muslim and the Muslima community have really gone hard [supporting me] and all these people have come together and I truly appreciate them,” Amira says. “I have just been flooded with DMs and emails and texts from [young muslim kids] people who have just been so inspired,” she says. “People who have said they have never seen anything like this, that I embody a lot of the style that they wanted to see and that the message hit them, which is really the most important thing to me.”

A Black woman wears a long, salmon pink hijab, black outfit and pink boots, smiling down at the camera with her arm outstretched to it.

Amira Unplugged

Amira Unplugged / MTV

Throughout the show’s production, she was able to continue to uphold her faith practices with the help of the crew, such as making sure her food was halal, having time to pray, dressing modestly, and working with female choreographers. “If people can accept this, can learn, and can grow, and bring more people into the fold of this industry, then I’m making a real difference,” she says.

Though she didn’t win the competition, this is only the beginning for Amira. Whether it’s on Becoming a Popstar or her videos online, Amira has made it clear she has no plans on going anywhere but up. “I’m so excited that I’ve gotten this opportunity because this is really, truly what I think I’m meant to do.”

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