We are living in interesting times. While racism is alive an well, black people across the diaspora have more opportunities than ever before.
Although we have our first black president here in America, we also still have an unequal justice system that disproportionally convicts and imprisons black men and an educational system that treats black children with contempt instead of looking at them like they hold the keys to our future.
In the UK, 2011 saw riots sweep across London and other parts of England, bringing with them many questions and conversations about race and class in the country.
Last week, 18 years after his murder, Stephen Lawrence and his family finally saw a bit of justice as two of the London teen’s killers were convicted of murder. However, issues of race and racism still bubble just beneath the surface.
On the eve of the verdict in the Stephen Lawrence case, poet Dean Atta put pen to paper and crafted a poem that’s touching many across the world.
Atta’s poem, “I Am Nobody’s N–ger” talks about the controversial word that has been hurled at black people around the world. Unlike some who embrace the word, Atta reminds us that the n-word still carries a lot of pain and anguish and should not be a welcomed part of our vocabulary.
He writes, “Rappers, when you use the word nigger remember that was one of the last words Stephen Lawrence heard/ so don’t tell me it’s a reclaimed word.”
Check out Dean Atta’s poem and tell us what you think.