Thursday, January 5, 2012


Since it was first forwarded to us by the author, The Free Choice E-zine has debated amongst the staff and management whether or not to post the following.
After serious consideration, we are presenting the original poem and accompanying e-mail verbatim with one notable exception: N* is replacing the original N word used since this is a family e-zine. We know the 'N' word's historical context, but hopefully Humanity has grown and become more enlightened since that word was first used.

"Dear friend,
 I wrote this poem yesterday morning at 6am and posted to SoundCloud and Tumblr.
 I was overwhelmed by how much support it received from various blogs, including:
 & literally thousands of individuals! So far it's been listened to nearly 8,000 times!
 Many thanks in advance for reading and please do share this poem far and wide!!

I Am Nobody's N* by Dean Atta

Rappers, when you use the word “N*”
Remember that’s one of the last words Stephen Lawrence heard
So don’t tell me it’s a reclaimed word.

I am nobody’s N*
So please, let my ancestors rest in peace
Not turn in their graves in Jamaica plantations
Or the watery graves of the slave trade
Thrown overboard into middle passage
Just for insurance claims
They were chained up on a boat
As many as they could manage and stay afloat
Stripped of dignity and all hope
Awaiting their masters and European names
But the sick and the injured were dead weight to toss
And Lloyds of London would cover that cost.

I am nobody’s N*
So you can tell Weezy and Drake
That they made a mistake
I am nobody’s N* now
So you can tell Kanye and Jigga
I am not a N*… in Paris
I’m not a N* in London
I’m not a N* in New York
I’m not a N* in Kingston
I’m not a N* in Accra
Or a N* with attitude in Compton
Cos “I don’t wanna be called yo N*”

How were you raised on Public Enemy
And still became your own worst enemy?
You killed Hip Hop and resurrected headless zombies
That can’t think for themselves or see where they’re going
Or quench the blood lust because there’s no blood flowing
In their hearts, just in the streets
They don’t give a damn as long as they eating
Their hearts ain’t beating, they’re cold as ice (bling)
Because they would put money over everything
Money over self respect or self esteem
Or empowering the youth to follow their dreams
Stacking paper cos it’s great than love it’s seems
Call me “N*” cos you’re scared of what “brother” means

To know that we share something unspeakable
To know that as high as we rise we are not seen as equal
To know that racism is institutional thinking
And that “N*” is the last word you heard before a lynching.

Follow Dean Atta on Twitter - @DeanAtta  
(end of original e-mail)

The Free Choice E-zine will consider all submissions provided they follow the Rules of Polite Conduct posted in the left hand column on your screen.
To have your contribution considered for posting, just send it to

No comments: