LISTEN: Brand new Dean Atta poem on Trayvon Martin case


Click to follow
The Independent Online



Black Britain and Black America


These so-called chips on our shoulder

Are the building-blocks of equality

I do not need permission to recall my history


Black Britain and America are not the same

But we see you

And we feel your pain


I Am Trayvon Martin

For our races and birthplaces

We are not to blame


I stare into this shattered mirror

A society that reflects our own

Black America, you are not alone


Our paths are not parallel

But our struggles need not be separate

If we teach our children to never forget


That before any wars on terror

There were wars on our humanity

Labelling us less than we were born to be




Though most days it feels we are guilty

Until proven innocent

Failures until we achieve something excellent


But it's also our right not to excel

To live normal decent lives

And not fear bullets and jail


Not have to justify our existence or presence

In countries built on our backs with no thanks or penance

It's not just the taxis and black cabs not stopping for us

It's the police and civilians targeting us


It's losing out to the white candidate

Despite the same qualifications

Or getting the job

And people calling it positive discrimination


Yes, I've got a big black chip on my shoulder

And this pink one too

LGBT and feminist, I will stand by you


America, I have only stood on your soil once

And I don't understand all of your laws

But yours is a struggle I cannot ignore


There are many more struggles that need to unite too

Native Americans and Australians, I see you

In this black mirror made of more than glass


But they say, "It's not about race now

It's only about class."


Dean Atta's debut collection of poetry 'I Am Nobody's Nigger' is published by The Westbourne Press.