This month, we're delighted to share a brilliant new title. Our BYP Book of the Month is Dean Atta's The Black Flamingo.
Taking inspiration from Dean's own life, The Black Flamingo tells the story of Michael, a young boy of Cypriot and Jamaican heritage, who navigates school, college, university and adulthood, with friendships, relationships and journeys along the way.
It's a beautiful story of discovering oneself, finding inspiration and learning to love who you are, despite the odds. From grappling with his sexuality as a young gay man of mixed heritage, learning how to navigate spaces in which he feels he doesn't belong and embracing his uniqueness, The Black Flamingo is a heartwarming story that we recommend wholeheartedly.
Michael's story is one that raises questions of how perceive identity, what it feels like to belong and what it feels like to not see yourself represented. His story of finding his flock, becoming bold in himself and choosing to be who he wants to be on his terms shows just why representation, community and support is so important.
Here's an excerpt that we particularly enjoyed:
'Don't let anyone tell you
that you are half black
and half-white. Half-Cypriot
You are a full human
being. It's never as simple
as being half and half.
You are born in Britain.
You need to make space
for what British means.'
Buy The Black Flamingo here
About the author: Dean Atta was shortlisted for the Polari First Prize for his debut poetry collection, I Am Nobody's Nigger. His poems discuss topics from race and identity to gender and growing up. Dean has appeared on BBC One, BBC Radio 4, Channel 4 and more, and was recently named as one of the most influential LGBT people in the UK by the Independent on Sunday. Find him on Twitter @deanatta and at deanatta.com
Photograph credit: Thomas Sammut
Anshika Khullar is the illustrator of The Black Flamingo. They aim to uplift marginalised people of all genders, races, sizes and abilities.
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Writer: Mireille Harper