Danielle was born in Georgia but grew up in Greenville, South Carolina. She was a part of a Christian family, and her first role was in a nativity play in her church. Brooks went on to finish South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts & Humanities and graduated Julliard School in 2011 majoring in drama.
Her big breakout came in 2013 in the hit series "Orange Is the New Black". Danielle portrayed Tasha "Taystee" Jefferson, the main character for which she got huge critical acclaim. In 2015, Danielle landed a role in the hit Broadway musical "The Color Purple". The actress dazzled everyone with her voice and charm, subsequently receiving a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a musical.