Poet Dean Atta pays tribute to Trayvon Martin with “Black Britain & Black America”

trayvon martin

Whilst many are still reeling over the verdict in the George ZimmermanTrayvon Martin trial, a number of media figures have quickly come out to express their views of the decision to acquit the Neighbourhood Watchman over the death of 17 year old teen. UK poet Dean Atta delivers a timely and poignant poem entitled “Black Britain & Black America #TrayvonMartin,” paying tribute to the slain adolescent in addition to expressing the varied similarities and discriminatory issues plaguing both the UK and US.

The case has been steeped in controversy due to the racial tension building around it, with many taking to the streets in America to protest against the decision. Atta’s piece focuses on the sorrow and grief which both nations face due to discrimination and struggles within minorities, giving a level-headed performance rather than a fiery chastisement of last Saturday’s verdict.

Check out “Black Britain & Black America” now by pressing play below and feel free to leave your comments on the Trayvon Martin case within the C section.

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


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.”