Black Britain and Black America by Dean Atta

This is a very insightful piece by spoken word artist Dean Atta who you can find on twitter @Deanatta

Listen to it, tell us what you think, tell us what you feel. This poem should invoke an emotion from you – Well  it did for me. So feel free to express yourself in the comment section below.

Here is the audio version of the poem and below this we have the lyrics for those who would like to read along.

Press play to listen

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.”

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