Greek Cypriot | Jamaican

Dean Atta.jpg

My mum’s family are from Cyprus. (Greek Cypriot). My dad’s family are from black Jamaicans. (African heritage)
I grew up in North West London, I write and perform poetry. I have published a book of poems called' I Am Nobody’s Nigger'. I am writing a second book called; 'The Black Flamingo', which is inspired by an experience I had when visiting my mum’s family in Cyprus and seeing a real black flamingo and feeling it was the perfect metaphor for myself as a black queer person.
My school was fairly mixed however my particular mix was considered to be very unusual.
When I was the president of the African Caribbean Society at university, one of my friends who ran the society with me told me I wasn’t really black because I had a white mum. I think from that point onwards I have always referred to myself as black very intentionally. I stand in solidarity with all black people and I don’t think being mixed makes me any less black as whiteness is set up to exclude all those who are not white.
I don’t think of mixed as a group that share enough common experience to be one that I can say I’m a part of in a meaningful way. I would say I share most common experiences with other black queer people.
I have gravitated towards things I understand, so my friends are black, white and mixed. I am sometimes able to mediate between both races in a conversational setting. I won’t stand for anti-blackness or negative comments about white people. When you are mixed I think it is really strange that people think they can make negative comments about black people and think that is ok, in a way it’s like I’m a spy who gets to hear what black people say about white people and then what white people say about black people and not feel like you are part of either race.
Our future is the same as everyone else’s future. If any group in society is experiencing prejudice we are not in a fair or equal society, whether that’s to do with race, religion, sexuality, gender, disability, age, if we do not challenge and change things using an intersectional approach it will only get better for some and not for everyone.