This Book Is Creating A Space For Queer Black Boys In Children’s Literature – Huffington Post
Johnson told The Huffington Post that he wanted to explore the subject of children and fear through a character navigating multiple, intersecting identities. “Maybe the next time they see a black boy who wants to jump rope instead of play football, he won’t be strange or a sissy. He’ll be human, he’ll be himself, or he will be ‘just like Jeremiah Nebula,'” Johnson elaborated.
Check out an interview with Johnson below, as well as Daye’s illustrations, and learn more about this revolutionary book in the world of children’s literature.
The Huffington Post: What was your overarching concept or vision for this project?
Myles E. Johnson: The overarching concept and vision for the project is a philosophical one, I suppose. I played with the idea of what is fear. Where does fear come from? What makes fear intensify and what makes fear alleviate? With those questions in my mind, I began to study how the body reacts to fear. Physically, we feel less pain, our eyesight gets sharper, our hearing gets better, and in some cases we can even display almost superhuman strength. The concept of Large Fears is to introduce what I discovered about fear and how the body reacts to it for children, and adults that need the reminder, on a more emotional level. I wanted to suggest that when life gets scary, that is when you get stronger, and more times than not, that’s when you know that what is around the corner is something worthwhile.