I picked up Black Flamingo a while back at the recommendation of an LGBT+ podcast I listen to. At first, when I heard about it, I thought it was going to be an in-depth deconstruction on life as a black gay man, complete with complex discussions on how society works and treats when you’re intersectional, how the people around you treat you, what is done behind the scenes, and maybe some notes at the end about how we can be better.
What my brain completely failed to retain was this was a book of poetry.
There was, of course, mention on how society treats a gay, black person, but it’s much more introspective, much more emotionally driven rather than factually based. Every single page is a poem to how the main character, Micheal, feels at the moment. How he’s treated, how it makes him react. It goes over his joys, his sorrows, his anger. It touches on homophobia and racism, but doesn’t dig into the “why” so much as the “what”. What happened, what did it make Micheal feel, what did it make the other kids do.
This is a much lighter read than most, and touches on something quite sincere. There were moments I related to quite a bit, and others that were interesting to see through another lens. It’s not trying to tell you the mechanics behind life, just telling you that it is what it is, and here is Micheal’s experience. I highly recommend giving the book a read. It can be purchased on Amazon here:
But if you are able to buy it or order it in at a local book-store, I recommend that. Give your local books some love <3