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Friday, June 19, 2020

Review: All Boys Aren't Blue by George M. Johnson @fsgbooks @IamGMJohnson #queerblackathon

All Boys Aren't Blue 
by George M. Johnson

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publish Date: April 28, 2020
iBooks Edition
320 Pages
Genres: Nonfiction, Memoir Manifesto, Autobiography, LGBTQIA+

In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first sexual relationships, this young-adult memoir weaves together the trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys.

Both a primer for teens eager to be allies as well as a reassuring testimony for young queer men of color, All Boys Aren't Blue covers topics such as gender identity, toxic masculinity, brotherhood, family, structural marginalization, consent, and Black joy. Johnson's emotionally frank style of writing will appeal directly to young adults.

My Review:

"We are not as different as you think, and all our stories matter and deserve to be celebrated and told."

Johnson touches on many very important topics as you can gleam from the synopsis.  There are so many highlights and quotes I wanted to take from this.  I am beyond awed and grateful that queer Black boys will now have something to read and relate to.. and it makes me all the more aware how there's not enough of this out there for this community.  How do you review such a personal memoir manifesto?  You really don't - you just let readers know that this is a MUST READ.  SO if you haven't read it yet, add it to your TBR immediately and if it's already on your TBR, drop what you're doing and pick this one up right now.

ALL THE FEELS for this book.  I laughed, I cried, I cringed, I clapped and I LEARNED.  My instagram handle name derives from my favorite book from childhood, but it also expresses how as readers, we should GROW from what we read.  Where the Reader GROWS.  And I have certainly grown a bit after reading this. 

"Elevating a community viewed as below you to having the same equity and equality harms no one but the oppressor."   Read that again.

"Love who you want to love and do it unapologetically, including that face you see every day in the mirror."  YES YES YES.

"It's necessary that we do the work to unpack our shit.  It's time for the world to let queer Black boys unpack their shit.  Smile, Black guys." 🖤


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