Dean Atta’s life is changing. The 27 year-old performance poet has been performing for over ten years but it’s only last week when posting his poem I Am Nobody’s Nigger that people began to sit up and take notice (although, to be fair, anyone who’s had work commissioned for the Tate Modern and National Portrait Gallery can’t be that unknown). The poem was written after the sentencing of Gary Dobson and David Norris for the murder of Stephen Lawrence. In it he deals with the N-word or, more precisely, the misuse of the N-word by irresponsible rappers: “You killed Hip Hop and resurrected headless zombies”.
The first line of the poem: “Rappers, when you use the word ‘nigger’ remember that’s one of the last words Stephen Lawrence heard, so don’t tell me it’s a reclaimed word” received 80 likes and 50 retweets and probably far more now that he’s been featured in a major newspaper. Up till now, sexuality has been a major focus of Atta’s work as he says: “You know you’re black, but you have to kind of figure out that you’re gay.”
What’s interesting is the power that the internet can have upon a writer’s work. As Dean Atta states: “I recorded it on to my iPhone, and it was straight online. I tweeted it and it just went viral.” Dean Atta can inspire many through his success as well as through his work.
Click here to listen to and read the full poem. What do you think?
Source: The Guardian