Derrick Barnes wrote I Am Every Good Thing to celebrate the experiences of black boys. The imagery captivates a brown boy’s experiences of skating, swimming, and growing into a future leader. Barnes stated, “I wrote this book for Black boys and the people that love them all over the globe.” His storybook amplifies this message and positively shows them. 

The hashtag #BrownBoyJoy is trending for the reason that Black boys should have more positive images seen in their lives. A parent from The Bump said, “The hashtag is not a put-down of anyone else’s joy. The more joy the better! #BlackBoyJoy was created to show positive images of happy Black boys to reinforce confidence, release some of the emotional baggage and reaffirm the existence of and right for Black boys to be happy. #BlackBoyJoy helps to debunk the stereotypes that some people hold and the media sometimes portrays about who Black boys and men are—a menacing threat.”

Below is a small booklist that was inspired by Derrick Barnes’ book, I Am Good Everything. You can find more books about Black Joy Here from The Brown Bookshelf.

1. I am Every Good thing by Derrick Barnes
Experiences that celebrate the joy and love that black boys bring. A book demonstrating the strength, the humanity, and the experiences of who he is. 

2. Black Boy Joy,Edited by Kwame Alexander
Celebrated authors provide experiences of Black boys. 

 

3. Chocolate Me by Taye Diggs
A young boy deals with name-calling because of his chocolate skin color. In the end, he learns to accept the way that he looks.

4. Crown an Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes
Celebrates the experiences of what it means to get a “Fresh Cut” in the barbershop. Barnes’ rhythmic language keeps the story flowing, and makes the reader understand what it truly means to get a haircut at a Black barbershop. Barnes even builds your imagination about the different characters in the shop and what they can be. This story opens the reader into another world and celebrates #Brownboyjoy.

Listen to the story here

5. A Place Inside of Me By Zetta Elliott
A poem that narrates a young person’s emotions and experiences on what occurs in the real world. He feels hope, anger, sorry, joy, and much more. But through the challenges that he faces as a black man, he is proud of who he is.

6. Be Boy Buzz By bell hooks
bell hooks share the different things that boys can do. The simplicity in the illustrations demonstrates the different actions that boys do. She uses jazzy language.

7. Brown Boy Joy by Thomishia Booker
A book for pre-k-kindergarten readers. Brown Boy Joy celebrates a young boy’s life, provides positive affirmations, and about what it means from the lived experience.

8. A Boy Like You, by Frank Murphy
A story celebrating the emotions and experiences. The book tells the reader that he can be or do anything in life.

9. Magnificent Homespun Brown: A Celebration By Samara Cole Doyon
A poem where a little girl sees the different shades of brown in tree branches, honey, sandcastles, and more. These different shades remind her about the brown skin that she is in.

10. Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History by Vashti Harrison
A nonfiction book celebrating bold and courageous leaders, athletes, scientists, and musician. Ms. Vashti Harrison illustrates the characters similarly but their clothes and background represent their differences.

11. Your Name is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow
A little girl who attends an American school does not feel comfortable when others have to say her name. Her name is Kora-Jalimuso (KO-rah-DJAA-lee MOO-so). Her mother tells her the beauty of her name. Her mother shows her how her name fits into the rhymes and beats in a song. Kora-Jalimuso returns to school and sings her name making all of the children laugh and sing along. 

 

 12. A Girl Like Me By Angela Johnson
A story and collage celebrating the aspirations these girls proclaim. View their experiences, joy, and ideas of standing up and shining.

13. The Night Is Yours by Abdul-Razak Zachariah
Join Amani on an evening where she plays hide-and-seek with her friends. The moon keeps her company which shines bright at night. Amani’s name means wishes, and on this night she has the luck of winning hide-and-seek. A story about the joys of being a child, celebrating the shades of brown in the night sky, and the goodness that a child has.