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We are elated to host the launch event for Black Boy Joy on August 3, 2021. Black Boy Joy is an upcoming middle grade anthology, edited by Kwame Mbalia, NC-based author of Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky. We are joined by a powerhouse team of authors and contributors to Black Boy Joy: BB Alston, Don P. Hooper, George M. Johnson, Justin A. Reynolds, and of course, Kwame Mbalia. 

These are today’s top and rising-star Black authors who have contributed genre-spanning stories to this fresh and vital middle-grade anthology about the joys and complexities of Black boyhood. Can’t wait!


This event will be live on and free with registration - click "Save My Spot" above or visit 

About The Authors

KWAME MBALIA is a husband, father, New York Times bestselling author, and former pharmaceutical metrologist, in that order. His debut middle-grade novel, Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky, and the sequel, Tristan Strong Destroys The World (October 6, 2020), are published by Rick Riordan Presents/Disney-Hyperion. A Howard University graduate and a Midwesterner now in North Carolina, he survives on dad jokes and Cheez-Its.

BB ALSTON currently resides in Lexington, South Carolina. His debut middle grade novel, Amari and the Night Brothers, has been a New York Times Bestseller for more than 20 weeks, and was named the Overall Winner for the inaugural Barnes & Noble Children’s and Young Adult Book Awards. A major motion picture is currently being developed by Universal, starring Marsai Martin. His second novel, Amari and the Great Game will be released early next year.

DON P. HOOPER is a writer and filmmaker of Jamaican heritage. He was a staff writer for Lewis Black, Amber Ruffin and Roy Wood Jr. respectively for the 2017-2019 Writers Guild of America East Awards and the 2021 joint Writers Guild awards show hosted by Kal Penn. He is a contributing author in BLACK BOY JOY, coming August 3 from Delacorte. His directing work has been featured in the Martha's Vineyard African American Film Festival, New York Television Film Festival (award winner), the New York City Horror Film Festival, The New Jersey Horror Con and Film Festival (best screenplay), and more. He does voice over in video games and documentaries. He is represented by Atlas Talent.

GEORGE M. JOHNSON is an Award Winning Black Non-Binary Writer, Author, and Activist located in the NYC area. George has written for major outlets including Teen Vogue, Entertainment Tonight, NBC, The Root, Buzzfeed, Essence, Ebony, THEM, and The Grio. They have also served as Guest Editor for’s Pride month.

They were awarded the 2019 Salute to Excellence Award by the National Association of Black Journalists for their article “When Racism Anchors your Health in Vice Magazine, and recently named to The Root 100 Most Influential African Americans in 2020. 

They are the author of the Bestselling Young Adult memoir All Boys Aren’t Blue discussing their adolescence growing up as a young Black Queer boy in New Jersey through a series of powerful essays. The book will also be translated into French, Spanish and Portugeuse, with a UK distribution set for 2021. 

George's next memoir, WE ARE NOT BROKEN is the vibrant story of George, Garrett, Rall, and Rasul -- four children raised by Nanny, their fiercely devoted grandmother. The boys hold one another close through early brushes with racism, memorable experiences at the family barbershop, and first loves and losses. And with Nanny at their center, they are never broken. It is scheduled for release on September 7th. 

Their book was optioned for Television by Gabrielle Union’s “I’ll Have Another Productions” and Sony TV in June of 2020. George serves as the executive producer and co-writer for the upcoming series based on his real life college experience at the HBCU Virginia Union University. 

George is also a proud HBCU alum twice over, and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated.

JUSTIN A. REYNOLDS has always wanted to be a writer. Opposite of Always, his debut YA novel, was an Indies Introduce Top Ten Debut, a School Library Journal Best Book of 2019, translated in 19 languages, and is being developed for film by Paramount Players. His second YA novel, Early Departures, published to critical acclaim and was a Kirkus Reviews Best of 2020. justin is also the co-founder of the CLE Reads Book Festival, a Cleveland Book Festival for middle-grade and young adult writers. He hangs out in northeast Ohio with his family and is probably somewhere, right now, dancing terribly. 

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