B-boy Blues: A Seriously Sexy, Fiercely Funny, Black-on-Black Love Story


Author: Hardy, James Earl

Title: B-boy Blues: A Seriously Sexy, Fiercely Funny, Black-on-Black Love Story

Genre: African-American Literature & Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Literature

Publication Date: July 1, 1994

Number of Pages: 288 pp.

Geographical Setting: New York, New York

Time Period: 1990s


Plot Summary: In Hardy’s first installment of the B-boy Blues series, the main character, Mitchell Crawford, is black, openly gay, and a successful journalist.  Despite his tame outward appearance, he has always had a pining for the “rough trade;” a lover below his professional and social status with precarious intentions.  One evening in a gay bar in Greenwich Village, he encounters, Raheim Rivers, the answer to his dreams.  Raheim is a Hip-hop bicycle messenger with a violent streak who has yet to come to grips with his sexuality.  Raheim becomes Mitchell’s third fling with a Banjee boy and it is all that he had hoped for.  But as their lives begin to intertwine as their relationship progresses, Mitchell begins to press his life perspective onto Raheim.  He wants Raheim to become openly gay and begin to think about his professional future.  Raheim explodes in violence refusing to reveal anything of depth to Mitchell or any of those around him.  Mitchell soon finds out that, despite his outward appearance, Raheim is a smart and talented person.  He also sees an emotional depth in Raheim when he finds out that he has a 5-year old son.  After an incident where Mitchell’s best friend becomes a victim of a gay-bashing, anger begins to rise in his heart.  He quits his job when he suspects that a less qualified co-employee receives the promotion he wanted because he is white thinking that he has become a victim himself.  Lust is lost and love is found for Raheim and Mitchell in Hardy’s tale of finding equality, calm, and companionship in a hostile world.  Hardy introduces the reader into a slice of American culture that has grown in recognition in our current times.           


Subject Headings: Gay Literature; African-American Literature; New York City; Career Journalism; Single Parenting; Homophobia; Racism; Banjee Boy Culture; Hip-Hop Culture; Down-Low Culture; Buppie Culture; Sexual Identity, Cultural Identity; Love Story; Professional Exploitation; Modern Romance; Social Outcasts; Gay Culture; Socioeconomics; 1990s         


Appeal: graphic sexuality, comedic, strong central character, strong supporting characters, mild violence, episodic, resolved ending, emotionally charged, hip-hop influence, homosexuality, urban landscape, cultural diversity, sexual diversity, prejudice, vivid, even pace, contemporary, political, though provoking, strong language


Similar Authors & Works: Invisible Life, the debut novel by E. Lynn Harris, is a novel that centers on Raymond, an African-American bisexual who is torn between the man he loves and the woman he desires.  Wesley and Floyd are two teens who are best friends that share an unspoken passion for each other.  After Floyd’s death, Wesley tries to make sense of his life after marrying Floyd’s girlfriend and then leaving her for another named Paul in John Gordon’s Black Butterflies.  Blackbird by Larry Duplechan follows one month in the life of Johnnie Ray Rousseau, a gay black high school student as he narrates the events that fill his days.  


Relevant Non-Fiction Authors & Works: James Baldwin is a biography of the author of Native Son written by his long time friend, David Leeming.  It brings light to his precarious lifestyle, his homosexuality, and other life adventures.  Black Theology: A Documentary History, Volume 2: 1980-1992 by James Cone and Gayraud Wilmore is collection of essays that sheds light on topics of homosexuality and bisexuality in black theology and spirituality.  Deep Are the Roots: Memoirs of a Black Expatriate is the memoir of accomplished actor Gordon Heath.  It retraces his childhood in New York City to his awakening homosexuality and passion for the arts.     




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