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Jussie Smollett Will Make His Feature Directorial Debut With "B-Boy Blues" Premiering at ABFF

Photo Credit: Tinseltown /

Jussie Smollett will be making his feature directorial debut with the release of B-Boy Blues at the American Black Film Festival.

B-Boy Blues is an adaption of James Earl Hardy’s book of the same name and is known to many in the LGBTQ+ community as the quintessential gay Black book of the 90s. The story follows the tumultuous relationship of two Black men who live and work in New York City. Mitchell Crawford, played by Timothy Richardson, a 27-year-old journalist from Brooklyn, and Raheim Rivers, played by Thomas Mackie, a 21-year-old bike messenger from Harlem, meet at a gay bar in Greenwich Village during the summer of 93’. River is known as a “B-Boy” or banjee boy, which refers to a gay man who dresses and acts stereotypically masculine and hides his sexual orientation. As the two get to know each other, Mitchell finds out that although Raheim has a violent disposition, he's talented and loves his 5-year-old son.

“Like so many same-gender-loving, Black men... B-Boy Blues was and continues to be a story that hits home for me in ways that not many people truly understand. With that said... it’s truly a universal story about Black on Black love. I couldn’t be more psyched to have this project be my feature film directorial debut. To have someone as iconic as James Earl Hardy, trust me, to bring his vision to life is an honor I don’t take lightly. And to produce/finance it with the launch of my company, SuperMassive, which will invest in projects by LGBTQ+, women and filmmakers of color is what my life’s work has been for," Smollett shares with Shadow and Act.

In addition to being an author, James Earl Hardy is a playwright, journalist and considered a king of gay Black literature. The best-selling B-Boy Blues series consisted of seven published books and was adapted into a play. The upcoming film will also feature Brandee Evans, Landon G. Woodson, Michael Jackson Jr., Jabari Redd, Broderick Hunter and Ledisi, and is produced by Smollett, Hardy, Tom Wilson, Frank Gatson, Sampson McCormick and Madia Hill Scott.

B-Boy Blues will be available to watch at the American Black Film Festival November 3-28, 2021.


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