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

Read Next
Moazzam Begg has walked from jail after a string of terrorist charges linked to the civil war in Syria were dramatically dropped  

Will we ever be told what really happened in the case of Moazzam Begg?

Mary Dejevsky
David Cameron used his speech to make a direct pitch to Ukip supporters as well as Eurosceptic Tories  

Politicians say the craziest things – and never more so than at election time

Mark Steel
Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?