By L.G. Parker
“Seeing the book in the hands of the children,” Large Fears author Myles Johnson shared with me, “was one of the most surreal moments of my life. More than that, it felt complete.”
When we last spoke, Johnson and illustrator Kendrick Daye were wrapping up their successful Kickstarter to fund the printing of Large Fears, the story of a black boy who loves pink – Jeremiah Nebula.
This past month, Johnson and Daye teamed up with local Atlanta artists Makeda Lewis and Sage Guillory to host a Large Fears themed tea party, featuring a reading of Large Fears and an art project in which youth and adults wrote and destroyed their large fears.
It was an opportunity, Daye says, for participants to “confront their fears and flex their creative muscles.”
Daye and Johnson are planning more workshops in New York, California, and Texas, in addition to Black Boys Love Pink discussion panels that will be geared towards an older age group.
“When I described Jeremiah Nebula as ‘the black boy that loves pink’,” Johnson says, “I noticed the phrase resonated with people who identified with it, or just identified with not living within a binary, so I got passionate about creating products that celebrate that.”
Accordingly, a Black Boys Love Pink t-shirt in addition to the forthcoming panels were born.
“I teamed up with photographer Justin McIntyre,” Johnson continues, “and brought him my ideas and he breathed life into them at Piedmont Park in Atlanta, which is responsible for most outdoor queer events in my city, so there is a kind of cultural significance doing [the product photo shoot] at that park as well as meeting the aesthetic goal we had in mind by doing it at the Noguchi-designed playground.”
Photo Credit: Myles Johnson/L.G. Parker