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27 November 2003

Well, that was . . . predictable

Rasta poet Benjamin Zephaniah publicly rejects his OBE says the Guardian, even though they also carried his exclusive public written rejection notice.
In fact, Zephaniah had served notice of his feelings at least three years ago with this excerpt from his poem Bought and Sold:

Smart big awards and prize money
Is killing off black poetry
It's not censors or dictators that are cutting up our art.
The lure of meeting royalty
And touching high society
Is damping creativity and eating at our heart.

The ancestors would turn in graves
Those poor black folk that once were slaves would wonder
How our souls were sold
And check our strategies,
The empire strikes back and waves
Tamed warriors bow on parades
When they have done what they've been told
They get their OBEs.
(Taken from Too Black, Too Strong. Published by Bloodaxe Books (2001))

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