Black Boy started off as a fun story I made up for my nephew Tiny.
Tiny is a restless little boy who, will stay up all night if you let him. Late nights when he would refuse to go to sleep, hours after his brother fell asleep, Tiny would guilt me into reading him a book before he went to sleep.
A task I was happy to oblige.
After a few nights like this, I noticed Tiny wasn’t truly interested in the book I was reading for him. I assumed it was because he didn’t truly want to read the books, he just wanted to stay up as long as he could.
Oh, was I wrong.
It wasn’t that Tiny was trying to trick me, it was the books. Tiny wasn’t interested in the books. At the time I wasn’t completely sure what the reason for his distaste was.
It wasn’t until I went in search for books by black authors and for black kids, that I realized they were far and few in between. The few books I did find, Tiny devoured. He couldn’t get enough of them. He loved that the characters looked like him. He loved that the were “made like him” (His words.)
He truly loved the books that featured Black Boy. So, I went in search of more books like that, only to find none really existed.
One night after reading all the book I could find featuring Black Boys, Tiny asked for one more story.
That one more story was the beginning of Black Boy.