46 pages 1 hour read

George M. Johnson

All Boys Aren't Blue

Nonfiction | Autobiography / Memoir | YA

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Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Afterword Summary: “All Boys Aren’t Blue”

Content Warning: The Afterword references police brutality and racism.

In the Afterword, Johnson reflects on Kenny’s death, graduating college, and the life path before them as a young Black and queer adult. Johnson explains the title of the memoir, saying that the color blue represents many things. It symbolizes the traditional gender roles assigned to boys. Blue also refers to the color of police uniforms, which Johnson’s father wore in his career as a cop. Blue also refers to the film Moonlight (2016), itself based on Tarell Alvin McCraney’s play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue. Both works of art are coming-of-age dramas about queer Black youths.

Afterword Analysis

In the Afterword, Johnson ties the themes of the memoir to its title. Blueness refers to both the traditional color for boys and to the film Moonlight, itself about queer youth. The multiple meanings of “blue” tie together queer identity and Black identity to make them inseparable from Johnson’s perspective. The color also lets Johnson position themself against their father’s profession as a police officer. Though Johnson does not touch on it frequently, the presence of police brutality lurks in the background of their childhood.