This is a We Are Here Lit recommendation. We often hear people talking about Black Joy, but we never have a lot of discussions about what that entails for our kids, ourselves, and in classrooms. ‘We Are Not Broken’ by George Johnson is an example of a book defining Black boy joy and Black love.
The story centers around the author’s family paying particular attention to his grandmother, Nanny, brother Garrett, cousins Rall, and Rasul. Johnson shares the ordinary, relatable precious moments in life that we often time overlook and take for granted and is our Black Joy
The book features family anecdotes that we all can connect with because they are all the fun, mischievous, mundane, and serious moments you deal with from family. The learning moments and the wisdom, resilience, and appreciation of the family matriarch Nanny remind you of home.
In addition to the vibrant storytelling, there are special features within this book that add to the humor and history of Black culture. For example, Johnson includes Nanny-isms which are oftentimes Southern or regional ‘Black Proverbs.’ The Nanny-isms provide the themes for the chapters, and some of them are simply hilarious.
The most endearing moments of the book are the letters from the four cousins to their Nanny. They're so heartfelt.
Also includes images in s family album layout that add another layer of home to this book.
Johnson discusses the tough topics that all families have to deal with drugs the streets identity in this case Johnson's queer identity and finding love where it is.
One of the things we particularly enjoyed about reading this book was the moments where our identities have us navigating the challenging moments in life. Johnson brilliantly helps us counter the narrative to see and appreciate moments of Black joy and love from endurance because, as the title says We Are Not Broken.
If you need an example of Black of joy and love this is it.
This book is from middle and high school students, especially for school and library book clubs.
The Taking of Jake Livingston by Ryan Douglas
I finally got a chance to read this book. The cover had me intrigued for a while. Jake Livingston is one of the few Black teens at St. Claire Prep, Not only does he have to deal with that, he also sees dead people. The ghost world and Jake's world collide as an violent teen ghost named Sawyer attempts to possess Jake and commit atrocities again.
Jake, a closeted gay teen, also has to deal with the social difficulties of life as a minoritized adolescent in majority spaces.
The novel is descriptive and very well written. If you like scary, horror-filled stories with layered social commentary, add this to your list. Douglass is a dope writer!. Can't wait to read more.
Authors JR Ford and Vanessa Ford and beautiful Illustrations by Kayla Harren, present the story of a child who has always been a boy, but the world saw him as a girl. Calvin’s supportive family helps him as he anxiously gets ready for the first day of school as himself.
The authors of this story are nationally-known advocates LGBTQIA+ rights for transgender youth and parents of a transgender child.
Black transgender and gender non-conforming people face some of the highest levels of discrimination of all transgender people according to a new analysis released in the research report called Injustice at Every Turn: A Look at Black Respondents in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey.
In Black Lives Matter, there is no hierarchy. Race and gender equality go hand in hand for Black LGBTQIA+ people.
This post also has picture books providing information about gender identity and pronouns from the brilliant Author and Illustrator Maya Gonzalez.
It is important to acknowledge all existence and ALL of our humanity within the Black community.
This day continues to raise awareness for individuals within the LGBTQ+ community, especially Black individuals, to champion the idea that homophobia lives in silence.
It celebrates a liberated spirit.
The following books share both fiction and non-fiction share narratives of what it feels like and the experiences, for some in the LGBTQ+ community.
Music: @georgemofficial An Easier Affair
WE ARE HERE will provide you book reviews, discussions, news, and programming about literature and literacy by and about Black males. This site will also feature vlog conversations on topics related to the promoting literacy and voice for Black boys and young men.