All Boys Aren't Blue by George M. Johnson

 "American history is truly the greatest fable ever written."

Representation matters. Hearing the voice of a person like you, seeing them live their life and truth, can truly inspire and encourage. For LGBTQ+ youth, this representation is paramount. When I was a young man coming to terms with my own sexuality, seeing other gay men represented in the media provided a beacon of hope that everything would be okay. Fortunately for me, I was growing up at a time where being a gay man was beginning to lose some of the stigmas that had plagued it before. But imagine for a moment that I'd never had this representation. For countless queer black men like author George M. Johnson, representation has been non-existent. In his book All Boys Aren't Blue, Johnson sets out to rectify that. 

For as long as he could remember, George felt different. He grew up surrounded by his large extended family. There was no shortage of cousins to play with and learn from. Still, George didn't quite see himself in any of his family members. It began at recess where each of the kids separated out into their prescribed groups. The boys all would play ball, but George had little interest. Instead, he would climb to the hill with a group of girls to jump rope. These were his friends, and this is what he liked to do. This was also the first time George began to question himself. The other couldn't understand why he wouldn't want to play with them. George was beginning to wonder too. 

All Boys Aren't Blue is a manifesto of sorts. George M. Johnson sets out to provide a history of his own story and guide others into accepting themselves. From his early days of recognizing himself as "other" to growing into a man much more confident in his sexuality, Johnson writes each anecdote with an honesty that serves to inspire and educate. His perspective from the intersection of both the queer and black communities helps to give a different insight into each of them. The book is geared toward a teenage audience, and I think it is really successful in answering some of the common questions about relationships, sex, and being a queer/black person. I could also see this being a helpful tool for parents who are trying to navigate their children's identity. All Boys Aren't Blue serves as a moving portrait of one man's life and a brilliant example of more diverse representation in books. 

For more information visit the author's website, Amazon, and Goodreads

(2021, 23)

This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2021 and is filed under ,,,,,,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

14 Responses to “All Boys Aren't Blue by George M. Johnson”

  1. It's not my kind of read but I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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    1. It won't be for everyone, but is super important in getting more diverse voices published!

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  2. I loved this book and I'm happy to see other people reading it.

    Some of the stories were painful to read but it, ultimately, a hopeful book.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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    1. I agree. It has so many emotional moments that really resonated with me!

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  3. I am so glad that books like this are being printed. Own voice especially in YA is so important. Wonderful review.

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    1. I completely agree. It is so great to see this kind of representation in YA.

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  4. I'm happy to hear you didn't have to face some of the stigmas from the past, Ethan. Sounds like an educational read, and the cover is beautiful!

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    1. I definitely have still faced discrimination, but I never forget how lucky I am to be able to live my life openly.

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  5. I have seen this book around but I had no idea that it was a memoir. It sounds like a fantastic read!

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  6. Representation sure matters
    I can see it being very emotional, Id have to prepre

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    1. There are some pretty upsetting moments, but there are also equally inspiring moments.

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  7. Representation is SO important. I try to find as many diverse books as possible so all of my kiddos see themselves reflected back from the pages we read. I have had this one on my radar for a while and hope to get to it soon.

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  8. This sounds like a powerful read, and I keep thinking of the boys out there in the world reading this and seeing their story in print <3

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