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Millennials are coming of age, and have all types of terms of endearment for everyone from friends to elders we admire. From “Sis” to someone being your “play cousin” or “Auntie.” Using one of these terms and adopting someone as a surrogate family member, is the ultimate sign of admiration.

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In the African-American community calling someone, your “Auntie” can be a sign of respect; a way to acknowledge an individual as an elder, a mature leader of the community or simply your mama’s best friend.

Critically acclaimed writer and director, Ava DeVernay, 46, says the term “Auntie” makes her feel aged and uncomfortable. She even took to Twitter to say she prefers the terms Sis, Queen, and family.


According to O: The Oprah Magazine, Gayle King, 64, says she believes it’s more about age than respect. “ No one is calling Beyoncé, ‘Auntie Beyoncé’. “

America’s favorite media mogul, Oprah Winfrey, also 64, expressed the same disdain for the term citing “Oprah has worked pretty well for me.”

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“Don’t Call Me Auntie,” Ava DeVernay, Gayle King & Oprah Aren’t Here For It  was originally published on