discussion guide: Black Boy Joy

The following questions are meant to help facilitate the online discussion og Black Boy Joy hosted by Sarah Park Dahlen and myself with special guests authors Don P. Hooper and Julian WInters.

Discussion Questions

  1. We’re so used to stories of oppression and Black boys deficiencies. What ways of being Black boys were in these stories that surprised, amazed or informed you? What stereotypes are you realizing that you’ve held about Black boys?
  2. What kinds of Black futurities are suggested by Black Boy Joy? How are the characters developed through the lens of possibility rather than possibility? Why is that important?
  3. What do you think of the cover art, the color of the background, the title font, color, etc? What do you think young people will think about the cover? 
  4. Why is Black joy an essential part of anti-racist teaching?
  5. In addition to inviting Black authors and illustrators to your classrooms and libraries, what are other curricular and programming ideas do you have for this book? 
  6. Mr. G told Fort, “Time for someone new to search the Between for those in desperate need of joy.” How do we find and how do we share joy with those in need in our community? In our classrooms?  What does ‘fortitude’ have to do with it? 
  7. Which authors in this collection were you familiar with? Which were new to you?
  8. In addition to works by these authors, what other books would you suggest to readers who enjoyed this collection, and why? How do those books celebrate Black boyhood?

2 thoughts on “discussion guide: Black Boy Joy

  1. Edi,

    This post brings joy! I recently overheard a discussion by white teachers talking about Black History Month and I wanted to bang my head against the wall. So my question might be: “What steps can we take to make sure this book and any book written or illustrated by Black folx is not restricted to the month of February, the shortest month of the year.”

    You should be able to hear me counting you this week.

    With gratitude,




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