Heads up: Top comment and controversy

LISTEN: Brand new Dean Atta poem on Trayvon Martin case

 

 

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

 

Equal

 

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.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Read Next
Ed Miliband contends with difficult questions from Jeremy Paxman  

Battle for Number 10: Miliband survives a rough ride but Cameron takes the edge in first TV battle

John Curtice
Prime Minister David Cameron is interview by Jeremy Paxman  

The TV non-debate: Miliband does better than expected, but not better than Cameron

John Rentoul
The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss