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Poet Dean Atta shares a poignant reading from his award-winning novel ‘The Black Flamingo’

The Stonewall Book Award-winning writer spreads his wings for Attitude’s Speaking of Pride, empowered by Bentley.

By Thomas Stichbury

Poet Dean Atta spreads his literary wings with a reading from his verse novel The Black Flamingo.

As part of Attitude’s Speaking of Pride, empowered by Bentley, the writer shared a thought-provoking excerpt from his acclaimed work.

The coming-of-age story follows Michael, a mixed-race gay teen growing up in London, navigating his cultural identity as Cypriot and Jamaican, and his burgeoning sexuality.

Dean cherry-picked a passage in which Michael travels to Cyprus to visit his grandparents and is enraptured by a news story about the arrival of a black flamingo on the island.

The Stonewall Book Award winner begins: “An expert on screen explaining it is the opposite of an albino. ‘Too much melanin,’ he says. Camera pans the salt lake full of pink but my eye is drawn to that one black body in the flamboyance.

“The following evening,” he continues. “Grandma calls us in to eat. The black flamingo is on the news again. I pick the dining chair facing the TV. Grandad asks, ‘Why does it matter if he’s black?’ Adding, ‘The other flamingos don’t care’”

Dean concludes: “And I am certain what he’s saying is: ‘I love you.’”

Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, Dr Ranj Singh, TV’s Judge Rob Rinder, Little Mix favourite Jade Thirlwall and actor Simon Callow also appear in Speaking of Pride, empowered by Bentley.

Watch on and YouTube.