george m johnson blog

Author George Johnson on Writing Black, Queer — and Banned — Stories

We talked to the author of one of the most banned books in the country the unique power of books and why Black queer voices are so threatening to those trying to silence them. Over the past two years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of books being banned or challenged in school districts across the country. The majority of the stories that are being censored contain LGBTQ storylines and protagonists of color, including All Boys Aren't Blue, a about growing up Black and queer in New Jersey and Virginia and one of the top five most banned books in the country. The author, George Johnson, joined At Liberty this week to talk with us about what makes Black queer voices so threatening, the unique power of books, and their resolve to remain true to their story despite the attacks. You've said in prior interviews that you always knew your book was likely to be banned. Why did you think that? I just saw the landscape of the country we live in, and it seemed obvious to me that someone was going to take issue with my book. I had already seen rumblings around books like The Hate U Give, Dear Martin, and the 1619 Project. So as I was going through my process of the book, in my mind, I was like, “Okay, if they're coming for those books, they're definitely going to come for mine, too.” I knew […]

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