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 Girlfriends too 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 Instagram/Golden Brooks