The Black Flamingo
A boy comes to terms with his identity as a mixed-race gay teen - then at university he finds his wings as a drag artist, The Black Flamingo. A bold story about the power of embracing your uniqueness. Sometimes, we ...more
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Giveaway dates: Feb 04 - Mar 03, 2020
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I first saw Dean Atta talk and read at a poetry event in Berlin. I had previously read his poem "How to come out as gay" in the queer anthology Proud (that you should definitely read cause it's perfect and super gay) and couldn't believe my luck when I found out that I would be able to see him perform live. The reading was fascinating and Dean's poetry touched me deeply. He has a way of stringing words together that just made me ...more
Until The Black Flamingo.
Men are sand castles made out of pebbles
and the bucket is patriarchy: if you remove it,
we fear we won't be able to hold ourselves
together, we pour in cement to fill the gaps
to make ourselves concrete constructions
This book is truly beautiful.
It's about understanding your own identity and knowing that you are the one in charge of the terms and conditions of such.
He is me, who I have...more
For me, it's always a breath of fresh air to read about marginalized characters who are not from the US. Yes, Michael is British, and it's not difficult to find stories set in England, but stories about marginalized characters in contemporary are overwhelmingly American. In this story, you'll see Michael come to terms with what it means for him to be British and Jamaican and Cypriot; to be ...more
A Bildungsroman about Michael, from childhood to fully flocked flamingo, we follow the ups and downs of coming out at school, first crushes, first high heels, first drag. All told through verse. It’s beautiful, powerful and executed perfectly. I fell completely into Michael’s world and the rollercoaster that was his life. The words wrapped me up in Michael’s story and made me care for him and his family and friends more than some ...more
- Follows Michael, a mixed (Jamaican and Greek-Cypriot) Black teen, as he grows up from a young child to going to university, and how he navigate the intersections of his identities and incredible moments in his life.
- I'm marveled by how this book explores so many things so tightly without compromising an iota of depth and emotion. This book is packed with emotive ...more
I honestly picked this one up last minute at YALC. I had met Dean Atta the day before and was immediately in love.
However, I have never really been into poetry.
I always felt like they were a bunch of pretty words put together to maybe rhyme but most of all sound good.
"The Black Flamingo" is the first time that I could ever really connect with a piece of poetry, a novel written in verse.
Now I have to say that I'm neither black nor a cis-man. I will never 100% ...more
CWs: physical abuse, absent father, racism, homophobia, drug use, alcohol consumption, bullying, toxic masculinity
TW: racism, homophobia, homophobic slurs.
The Black Flamingo follows Michael a half Greek-Cypriot, half ...more
“So who is The Black Flamingo?” asks Katy with genuine curiosity.
“He is me, who I have been, who I am, who I hope to become. Someone fabulous, wild and strong. With or without a costume on.”
Actual rating: 4.5
Calling this book a coming of age story might be a simplification, because despite being a coming of age story The Black Flamingo is so much more.
Told in verse, The Black Flamingo follows Michael in his journey towards becoming himself. Michael is a boy who believes he doesn't ...more
I want to start off with, this book is amazing! I have not read many books written in verse, but I love poetry and have desperately been wanting to get more into it. So this book is entirely written in verse, and it was so good!
We follow our main character Michael and we watch as he grows and develops throughout childhood all the way to college, grappling with familial struggle, internal ...more
And friends, let me tell you, it's so good! So affirming of gender and sexuality identities, of the beauty in being different, of owning your body.
"The Black Flamingo looks in the mirror of the salt lake's surface and doesn't understand why a shadow stares back at him. He doesn't look like the other flamingos around him, he feels ...more
My favourite scenes are from chapters “Barbies and Belonging” and “Glitter Ball”. In the respective scenes Mikey’s mother explains the importance of never
*Please note: this review is meant as a recommendation only. If you use it in any marketing material, online or anywhere on a published book without asking permission from me first, I will ask you to remove that use immediately. Thank you!*
"Black Flamingo" contains lots of messages about gender, identity, self-discovery, acceptance of everyone etc. It is written in verse form and is a great read.
This is a tale about finding your place in the world, growing up and coming out. Michael struggles with this even more as a gay, mixed-race man and I really liked how Atta explored the intersections of these facets of Michael, especially how communities that are meant to support you can be divisive because of other ...more
The Black Flamingo follows Michael from when he was a baby all the way to him in university. It’s a story of discovery, of not feeling enough and finding identity. It’s for anyone that’s ever felt unsure about who they are.
Michael was a brilliant protagonist. Definitely not perfect and didn’t always say the right thing but was always real. I loved seeing him bloom and progress.
I wrote on my Simon vs the Homosapiens Agenda review that I ...more
We grow through over 300 pages (over three hours as an audiobook — you must listen to the poets read their work whenever you can) along Michael's journey of self-discovery within his family, his school(s) and university, and the world we share together. Through friendships, heartbreak and ignorance from the people surrounding him, and our own ignorance, as he is ...more
The Black Flamingo is a novel in verse (my favouriteeeee) which follows our main character's journey of discovering themselves and also becoming themselves.
I'll admit the poetry style wasn't my absolute favourite but I did enjoy the actual story and the way it was told. I ...more