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Benjamin Zephaniah

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by

Marina González V.

on 27 May 2015

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Transcript of Benjamin Zephaniah

Benjamin zephaniah
by andrea, iñaki, josé and Marina
YOU ARE THE POET NOW!
Now, you are the poet! For this activity, you will need to be in groups of 3 or 4, and you have to write a short poem about education. Free style is allowed.
GOOD LUCK!
Second half of the 50s

WWII had already ended
Great Britain lost several territories such as the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man
Harold Macmillan is the Prime Minister, after Anthony Eden resigned in 1957
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
1958 - UK/US Mutual Defense Agreement

Bilateral treaty on nuclear weapons cooperation.
Signed after UK succesfully tested its first hydrogen bomb.
Treaty renewed every 10 years, most recently on December 31st 2014

Margaret Thatcher´s role:
Prime Minister between 1979 and 1990.
Called the "Iron Lady".
Implented policies known as "Thatcherism".
April 2nd 1982, Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands and South Georgia. This creates a conflict between both countries.
The "Falklands Factor" and the economic prosperity, bolstered the government´s popularity.
Other important events: the Miners´ strike
Great Britain fought for the colonies because:
Fronts were in the colonies.
Great Britain lost its standing.
Colonies were resourceful.
The colonial soldiers were included in the army.
Japan´s power in Asia meant a victory for European Colonialism.
Great Britain was weak after WWI.
Atlantic Charter signed by Churchill and Roosevelt.
"If you didn´t have troublemakers, most women wouldn´t have the right to vote, a black person wouldn´t be talking to a white person, I´d be probably back in slavery.
We need troublemakers to challenge the establishment.
And I want to be one of those people who challenge the establishment."
Decolonisation process after WWII
Before 1958: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Egypt and Ghana.
1958: Irak.
After 1958: Somalia, Cameroon, Tanzania, South Africa, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia, Zambia, Malta, Barbados.
Other small territories until 1997.
FIRST YEARS:

Born in 1958 in Birmingham, "Jamaican capital of Europe".
Son of a Barbadian postman and a Jamaican nurse.
Dyslexic.
His first performance was in a church.
Prison sentence for burglary.
Start of his artistic career:

Decided to expand his audience, so he moved to London at the age of twenty-two.
Workers co-operative in Stratford, which led to the publication of his first poetry book in 1980.
His mission is to fight the dead of poetry in academia and to "take (it) everywhere" to people who do not read books.
Concert like performances.
East London.
In 2008, he began dividing his time between Beijing and a village near Spalding, Lincolnshire.
Married for twelve years with Amina, a theatre administrator, whom he divorced in 2001.
In 2011, Zephaniah accepted a year-long position as a poet in residence at Keats House in Hampstead, London.
Former supporter of Aston Villa F.C and the patron for an Aston Villa supporters´ website.
HIS WORK

Poetry
Novels
Children´s literature

He has also written: plays, films, songs and music albums
Introduced to Nelson Mandela.
In 1996, Mandela requested that Zephaniah host the president´s Two Nations Concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
We

Black
men of England
Too proud to cry for
shame
,
Let's cry a sea
Cry publicly
,
Expose
our
very

pain
,
For
Babylon the bandit
Is on
our

sisters
trail
,
The bad
talk
And the cool

walk
Will not keep
us
out of

jail.

We

Black
men of England
Our

guns
are killing
us
,
How dare
we
?
Now hear
me
How great is
dangerous
?
There's a
fascist
and a
druggist
Out to get
our
kith and
kin
,
Let silent
guns
Save
our

sons
The power is
within
.
sos (save our sons)
POETRY
• Pen Rhythm (1980)
• The Dread Affair: Collected Poems (1985)
• City Psalms (1992)
• Inna Liverpool (1992)
• Talking Turkeys (1995)
• Propa Propaganda (1996)
• Funky Chickens (1997)
• School's Out: Poems Not for School (1997)
• Funky Turkeys (audiobook) (1999)
• White Comedy
• Wicked World! (2000)
• Too Black, Too Strong (2001)
• The Little Book of Vegan Poems (2001)
• Reggae Head (audiobook)

nOVELS
• Face (1999)
• Refugee Boy (2001)
• Gangsta Rap (2004)
• Teacher's Dead (2007)
Terror Kid (2014)
CHILDREN´S LITERATURE
• We are Britain (2002)
• Primary Rhyming Dictionary (2004)
• J is for Jamaica (2006)
• My Story (2011)
• When I Grow Up (2011)

covers
FOR MORE INFORMATION!
Visit the official Benjamin Zephaniah web: http://benjaminzephaniah.com/
Follow him in twitter: https://twitter.com/BZephaniah

With Maya angelou, may 28th 2014
We

Black
men of England
Excel as if in
sport
For
our
people,
Because some people
Want to see
our
face in
court
,
When
we

Black
men of England
Look the mirror in the
face
,
Through
our

sisters

eyes
We
men shall

rise
As proud sons of
our

race
.
quiz
Name any territory lost by Great Britain after WWII
Which was his first book?
When was he born?
Where are his parents from?
Full transcript