Review: All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson

I’m a little disappointed here. I was led to believe there was some pornography involved, and I’ll be damned if I can find ANY pornographic material AT ALL!!!

Truth be told, I had two reasons to read Mr. Johnson’s excellent book. One, he’s a fellow author and I’m going to support him. Two, I was told by some jackass in Florida, the guv or some flake, that I wasn’t allowed to. So I said, pfff, that so? Try an’ stop me, Desantutts.

I think the reason All Boys Aren’t Blue is on conservatives’ hit list is that it’s truthful. That’s probably the same reason Huckleberry Finn, The Grapes of Wrath, The Diary of Anne Frank and so many more have been banned and are being banned this very second. A good book is truthful and shines an unpleasant light on the reality of our society. Though to be honest, All Boys Aren’t Blue is not unpleasant reading at all. Far from it.

This is a memoir for young adults; it’s probably too mature for preschoolers, but that’s not the point here. It’s about a young black man growing up, finding his queerness but frequently having to suppress himself. The author is not alone. The prevalent theme in his story is family. Back in the 1970’s my brothers used to say if someone messed with someone in our family, we could get about a hundred people together to settle this. We had a lot of more of us then; I don’t know if that’s true now.

George Johnson has always had the support of his family; brothers, cousins, parents. And especially his Nanny, his grandma, that older person every family relies on; the one who takes you to flea markets, teaches you stuff, encourages you in everything you do, and is always proud of you, no matter what. That’s what family is for, to tease you, rough-house, to fight with and to fight for you

There are a couple of cuss words, not to excess. I can get more profanity from a Star Trek movie. A couple of chapters made me uncomfortable, maybe because these were private things you don’t ordinarily share with the world. You’ll find out, if you have the courage to read it. My discomfort is not the point. What matters is representation, and I believe George Johnson has done a hellava job.