Today I am back for Day #2 of the Black Resilience Booksta Challenge. I explained all the rules in my first post here. I’m hoping this will inspire other readers to read, review and amplify more black voices. Feel free to join me! You can refer to the template below.
I chose The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta for Day #2 because he is a black male, British poet of Greek Cypriot and Caribbean descent. This is his first novel written in verse and tells the story of a black, mixed race queer teen that finds himself through the art of drag. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
I have mentioned on my blog before but I love novels written in verse and this book was no exception. Told from the perspective of Michael (a half Greek Cypriot and half Caribbean boy) we follow his life from childhood to adulthood as he navigates the tricky waters of sex, love, relationships, self-expression, identity, family and friendship.
Whilst the subject matter can be emotionally heavy at times, the story is a quick read due to the format. There are images, text messages, letters and of course…verse. From the very beginning, Michael is unafraid of declaring to his classmates, friends and family that he is gay. His unbridled confidence, positivity and passion for life invites romantic opportunities and ultimately leads him to transform into The Black Flamingo; his drag persona. I loved the amount of Drag Race references added into the story. It was so heartwarming watching Michael grow into himself and develop as a character. He is so lovable, I just wanted to squeeze him.
I really appreciated that the story wasn’t overshadowed by love interests. Ultimately it was about Michael embracing who he was and learning what it means to be a gay black man with Greek and Caribbean roots. I honestly don’t have any negative critiques other than I wanted more! I highly recommend everybody read this incredible coming-of-age novel.
If you are interested in getting a copy, you can order it here.
Thank you so much for reading, I will see you all soon for Day #3!
Peace & Love xoxo
Disclaimer: This post contains a link to my Book Depository Affiliate. I am not being paid or sponsored for this post/products – all my thoughts/opinions are my own