Benjamin Zephaniah

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Benjamin Zephaniah, eigentlich Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah, (* 1958) ist ein britischer Musiker und Schriftsteller mit jamaikanischem Hintergrund.

Order of the British Empire

2003 lehnte er die Aufnahme in den "Order of the British Empire" (OBE) ab und begründete dies in der Ausgabe des Guardian vom 27. November 2003 folgendermaßen:

Me? I thought, OBE me? Up yours, I thought. I get angry when I hear that word "empire"; it reminds me of slavery, it reminds of thousands of years of brutality, it reminds me of how my foremothers were raped and my forefathers brutalised. It is because of this concept of empire that my British education led me to believe that the history of black people started with slavery and that we were born slaves, and should therefore be grateful that we were given freedom by our caring white masters. It is because of this idea of empire that black people like myself don't even know our true names or our true historical culture. I am not one of those who are obsessed with their roots, and I'm certainly not suffering from a crisis of identity; my obsession is about the future and the political rights of all people. Benjamin Zephaniah OBE - no way Mr Blair, no way Mrs Queen. I am profoundly anti-empire

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