All Boys Aren ‘ T Blue : A Memoir- Manifesto by George M Johnson
View book: All Boys Aren ‘ T Blue : A Memoir- Manifesto
In his book All Boys Aren’t Blue, renowned journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson delves into his personal experiences, outlining his journey from childhood to college in New Jersey and Virginia.
This memoir, which has become a New York Times Bestseller, has gained recognition on major platforms such as Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Today Show, and MSNBC.
Through a collection of personal essays, Johnson candidly depicts his life as a Black queer male, recounting incidents like being bullied and losing his teeth at the tender age of five, navigating relationships, and experiencing the joys and challenges of growing up.
With its vibrant storytelling, All Boys Aren’t Blue not only educates and enlightens young readers but also serves as a guide for those wishing to support their LGBTQIA+ peers. Johnson addresses crucial topics like gender identity, toxic masculinity, brotherhood, family dynamics, systemic discrimination, consent, and the celebration of Black joy.
Praised by esteemed platforms such as Velshi Banned Book Club, Indie Bestseller, Teen Vogue, Buzzfeed, People Magazine, and recognized as one of the top books of 2020 by the New York Library and Chicago Public Library, All Boys Aren’t Blue is an emotionally honest and relatable narrative that resonates directly with young adults.
An Inspiring Interview with George M. Johnson: All Boys Aren’t Blue ️
Hi friends, my name is Joe and welcome back to my booktube channel. Today, I’m going to be sharing the interview that I got to conduct with George M. Johnson a couple of weeks ago. If you had watched my romance reading vlog, you would have seen that I was getting prepared for my very first author interview, and I was really nervous. But I got to interview George M. Johnson, who is the author of All Boys Aren’t Blue. I was very fortunate that Penguin asked me to do this, and I just can’t wait to share with you the amazing person that George M. Johnson is. So without further ado, let’s get into it!
Hello everyone, welcome to my very first author interview on this channel!
I am joined with George M. Johnson, the author of All Boys Aren’t Blue, a memoir manifesto. George goes by the pronouns they/them, and we’re going to be discussing their book today. George, would you like to introduce us to your book and tell us some key things about it?
My book is called All Boys Aren’t Blue, a memoir manifesto. It discusses my life from birth until age 21. It’s a book about my identity, the struggles I had with my identity growing up in a black family that still supported me, loved me, and affirmed me, even though they didn’t always have the resources or language to understand. The book is my journey through being an effeminate boy in a world that didn’t understand me, and navigating society as a young black boy dealing with gender and sexuality. It explores the universal experiences and oppressions faced by young black boys.
I resonated with your book as a queer black boy, and I think it’s important for young queer black kids to read your story and come to terms with their own identities. Given the reception in the United States, how do you feel about the book coming to the UK? Did you have any doubts about it being published?
I felt good going into it, but then the pandemic hit and I wasn’t sure how the book would do. But it has been well-received in the United States, and I’ve even received fan emails from Australia, Brazil, and the UK. I’m excited for the book to be distributed in the UK because racism and homophobia exist everywhere, just in different forms. I think the book will show how similar our stories are, even across different territories.
In your book, you talk about both trauma and joy. Did you ever worry that people would only view your memoir as one about pain without acknowledging the joys in your life?
I wasn’t worried about it because I wrote the book to showcase the totality of my experience. Even in the midst of trauma, there was healing, love, and other positive experiences. I wanted to balance truth with the overall healing and restoration of my story.
Your title, All Boys Aren’t Blue, challenges the notion that gender is binary. Can you tell us more about why you chose this title for your memoir?
The title stems from the moment when gender is assigned at birth, with pink or blue balloons or smoke. It’s the starting point of societal expectations and assumptions about how to raise a child based on their assigned gender. By saying “all boys aren’t blue,” I wanted to challenge this narrow view of masculinity and the pressures placed on boys to conform to societal norms.
As a role model for young black queer individuals, what advice would you give to those who want to live authentically and be proud of who they are?
Safety is paramount, especially for young black queer individuals. It’s essential to find moments and spaces, even if it’s privately or in their imagination, to express themselves authentically. It’s about finding a supportive community, whether online or in-person, that affirms and understands their experiences.
You mentioned that James Baldwin was an inspiration for you. How are his words relevant to the societal issues we face today?
Baldwin’s words are timeless. His work addresses the complexities of race, identity, and love, which are still pertinent today. He was a blueprint, and I hope to become a blueprint for new black queer writers.
What advice do you have for young queer black writers who want to share their own stories?
Realize that your story may be the first of its kind and embrace your unique perspective. Don’t try to fit into a mold or replicate someone else’s writing style. Write, regardless of whether it’s good or bad, and put your story out into the world. Keep writing to improve your skills and find your voice.
Are there any book recommendations or resources you would suggest for those who want to learn more or read more stories by and about queer black individuals?
I recommend “You Should See Me in a Crown” by Leah Johnson, “Felix Ever After” by Kacen Callender, and “Cemetery Boys” by Aiden Thomas. For more adult reads, there’s “No Ashes in the Fire” by Darnell Moore and “Black Boy Out of Time” by Hari Ziyad. These books offer different perspectives on queer black experiences and are a great starting point.
Thank you so much for joining me today! I really enjoyed our conversation and I can’t wait for everyone to read your book and see the live reading tonight. It has been an honor to interview you.
Thank you! I’m excited and nervous for the live reading, but I hope people enjoy it. Thank you again for having me!