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Golden Ameda Brooks (born December 1, 1970 in San Francisco, California) is an American actress. She is best known for her nine-year role as Maya Wilkes on the UPN/CW comedy Girlfriends. As a child she was a figure skating competitor and won several trophies. Brooks is also a classically trained dancer; she studied and taught ballet, jazz, and modern dance. Brooks studied literature and sociology, and is a graduate of UC Berkeley. Her concentration was Media Representation of Minorities; her minor was Theater. She earned a Masters degree from Sarah Lawrence College. She has a daughter with her former boyfriend D.B. Woodside, Dakota Tao Brooks-Woodside, born on September 1, 2009. Brooks is best known for her portrayal of the character Maya Wilkes (Joan's former sharp-tongued secretary and now acclaimed author) on the CW sitcom Girlfriends, in which she starred from 2000-2008. She directed the 2006 episode titled "Hustle & Dough," and wrote the 2007 episode titled "Snap Back," which featured guest star Erykah Badu. The character Maya is portrayed to be several years younger than the other characters Joan, Toni, and Lynn, but in reality Brooks is the eldest among the actors.