B-Boy Blues: Banjee love in the 90s

There are very few books or authors that have ever addressed love between two Black men. But of the few that do exist , none stand out more than the B-Boy Blues series written by James Earl Hardy. It follows the romance of Mitchell “Little Bit ” and Raheim ” Pooquie” and takes place over the course of the 90s and includes at least 7 books full of humor, sex, romance and commentary on being young, Black and gay in NYC. I am currently re-reading the series again just finishing the 2nd book. I am always struck by the commitment of Hardy to spin his tale with such vivid visuals and his being so in tune with the language, mannerisms and culture of his character. You can tell they are based on real people and that he dug deep into the lives of people in his tribe to make it come altogether so beautifully. I read his books finding times when I really get Mitchell and times I truly feel for Raheim. All the while able to relate to having that “wrong” type of love. I find Black love to be so incredible when it’s real. Two people who have everything against them and daring in spite of all the requisite pain, all the lingering trauma of identity in being a Black gay man and seeing another Black gay man and loving him for who he is . I’d love to see it in it film one day although I know they’d probably fuck up the story, butcher the aesthetic , take away the 90’s Brooklyn based flava of the story and do Little Bit and Pooquie no justice. So I can only hope like I do with so many Black stories and Gay stories hope that it’s made by its’ people for its’ people. What a beautiful act of resistance on the part of Mr. Hardy. May he inspire more “jood” works from other unsung unicorns.

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