TESTIMONIALS

“I often think about cultural work as before Hari Ziyad and after Hari Ziyad. I don’t know that there is another writer and cultural worker who has done more to make us intellectually, imaginatively and bodily engage with the ways that traditional conceptions of gender, sexuality, blackness, class, childhood, empire and power necessarily mangle our relationships to each other. Hari's work goes far beyond bombastic pull quotes or titillating essay titles. In their hands, we see language being cared for, carved up and absolutely dismantled. More than anything, Hari's art insists that we ask not simply the hard questions, but the unintelligible questions we've convinced ourselves have no answers. In their work, I understand that pointed questions rooted in a love of Black queer folk must be part of our liberation. They have changed the way people write, think, and love one another on and off the internet.”

— Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy, Long Division, and How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America

 

 “Hari Ziyad is one of those writers who transports you into the moments, the minutes, and the seconds of Black life in subtle and gentle ways that are rarely possible. Every word drips with a deep love and commitment to telling true and just stories about our nuanced Black queer lives. Black Boy Out of Time is so moving, so alive, so real. This book is a reclamation and celebration of Black childhood and coming-of-age in all of it’s hidden beauty and pain. We need this memoir and ‘'m so grateful Ziyad is here to write it.”

— Jenn Jackson, Syracuse University professor and Teen Vogue columnist

 

“Hari consistently creates work that centers the voices and lives of the most marginalized members in our society. Their work is not only brilliant and insightful, but they challenge readers to examine themselves in a way very few writers can do. Alice Walker once wrote ‘those who love us never leave us alone with our grief. At the moment they show us our wound, they reveal they have the medicine.’ Ziyad’s words cut deep but they also provide healing.” 

— Shanita Hubbard, author of Miseducation: A Woman’s Guide to Hip-Hop

“Hari Ziyad is committed to recovering the unrecoverable; the seconds, the minutes, the hours of things shed and discarded as if there was no value to be found in what we were, even though it leads us to what we are. Ziyad is surgical in this pursuit, attempting to be as careful but incisive as possible so that memory does more than remember: it testifies. Like all of their previous writings, Black Boy Out of Time is tribute to and examination of the necessary, the overlooked, the irreconcilable, and the witnessing the world would much rather not do. Ziyad is both lightning rod and lightning bolt.”

— Robert Jones, Jr., author of The Prophets and creator of Son of Baldwin

 

“Every generation has their defining writers, and Hari Ziyad is one of ours. Their writings force you to interrogate & challenge everything you thought you knew and look at the wound you pretended wasn’t there, but they never leave you without the cure to finally heal the pain.”

— George M. Johnson, bestselling author of All Boys Aren’t Blue and We Are Not Broken

 

“Black ‘boys’ who never come of age, who are always already someone or some thing else, have been at the heart of Hari Ziyad’s work. Ziyad writes with clarity, passion, care, and a deep love for all Black people—especially those of us who are constantly moving through and around gender. Black Boy Out of Time is a necessary read for Black queer boys and non-binary people who can relate to finding themselves in a world designed to keep them lost.”

— Da’Shaun Harrison, author of Belly of the Beast: The Politics of Anti-Fatness as Anti-Blackness

 

 “Hari Ziyad’s incisive writing is a rare mix of balladry, criticism, and reportage. They write of the times with clarity and courage. They appeal to truth and beauty. And in so doing offer us Black-loving art that is both shotgun and balm.”

— Darnell L. Moore, author of No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America 

 

“Hari Ziyad’s work is the cohesion of all their interests in the so-called marginalized into a single force that illuminates just how central to freedom communities that are abused and underestimated by this society truly are. If the margins are said to be the dwelling place of Ziyad’s subjectivity, then they see their job as showing how the ones in the margins are also the ones who ensure earth keeps spinning. Through their eyes, the disfigured, the queer, and the riotous are given life, a stage, a platform, and an embrace.”

— Phillip B. Williams, author of Thief in The Interior, winner of the 2017 Whiting Award, Kate Tufts Award, and Lambda Literary Award

 

“Alongside James Baldwin and Audre Lorde, Darnell Moore and Danez Smith, Hari Ziyad’s work fits in as an exciting new entry in the canon of queer Black American literature. At the same time, Ziyad’s writing stands out as a stunningly original voice, and they tackle race and gender in ways writers of all races seem to find too hot to touch. Yet as challenging as Ziyad’s ideas are, they are not inaccessible. Though Ziyad writes explicitly as a Black writer with Black readers in mind (and Black children at the heart of their work), white people are always asking me about their provocative stories. Ziyad stirs impassioned debates and strong reactions from both people I know who have been following their work for years and those who are encountering it for the first time.”

— Steven W. Thrasher, Northwestern University professor and author of The Viral Underclass: How Racism, Ableism and Capitalism Harm Humans on the Margins

 

“Hari Ziyad’s book details for the reader the possibilities and directions of Black freedom and healing today, and explores how we protect Black children from a perpetual cycle of trauma. Ziyad adds nuance and depth to current renderings of what it is to be Black and queer and what type of personal/political liberation is possible.”

 — Cathy J. Cohen, author of The Boundaries of Blackness: AIDS and the Breakdown of Black Politics and Democracy Remixed: Black Youth and the Future of American Politics

“A rare mix of balladry, criticism, and reportage. Hari Ziyad writes of the times with clarity and courage. They appeal to truth and beauty.”

 

— Darnell L. Moore, author of No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America

MARCH 1st, 2021

Ziyad-Black Boy Out of Time-Final Cover.

© 2020 Hari Ziyad

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