Ain’t Never Not Been Black by Javon Johnson
Ain’t Never Not Been Black foregrounds Black pleasure Black pain and Black love in unflinchingly Black ways. Engaging with themes of masculinity, racism, love, and joy, Johnson is at once critical and creative. His spoken word performance transfers effortlessly to the page, with poems that will encompass you. This is a book about blackness and survival, and how in America these are inseparable. In a world of individualism, who can you hold close? In a world of danger, what makes you feel safe? From a poem written in the form of a syllabus, to another about the time his grandmother literally saved his life, Johnson’s creative expression is constantly enacting the feminist mantra, “the personal is political.”
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