SPECIAL: Goodbye Year 11!
In celebration of the end of their GCSEs, Year 11 students created some wonderful identity poetry in their final English lessons. This culminated in a special poetry slam competition where a select few performed their poems on a stage in front of the whole year group. After the votes were counted, Ibrahim was declared the winner! Congratulations also to Dan'nel who finished second and Anisa and Zeinab who finished third. You can read the poems below.
DISCLAIMER: Some of the poems deal with mature themes. Reader discretion is advised. It should also be noted that many of the lines have been inspired by a variety of musical and cultural influences and do not necessarily reflect actual events. The poems should be read as an homage to certain genres rather than depictions of real experiences.
First Place: Ibrahim
The real me
Some people hide their true selves for multiple reasons
They cover themselves in a shell of what they want society to perceive them as
An empty husk
A fake smile
I am one of these people
An introvert who is the least social of all his friends
Someone who desires acceptance for who they are and how they act
Someone who sits alone deep in his thoughts
Someone who struggles to think positive thoughts about himself
A person who pulls himself down while others try to push him up
The weird kid
They hyper one
The one who lets out his deeply buried rage on people
The one who wishes that ,someday, society will accept him for being himself
For acting the way, he acts
That's the real me.
Second Place: Dan'nel
I Come From
I come from a place where I'm given a hundred choices but can only choose one
I come from a place where everything results in backing out a gun
I come from a place where if I run, I'm a neek
and if I stay and get killed I'm dumb
I come from a place where they don't care about her personality just her bum
I come from a place where I'm scared to express my feelings to a girl 'cause I might get trapped, and bun
I come from a place where girls look old in makeup instead of experiencing being young
I come from a place where being in a gang is on trend rather than looking out for your mum
I come from a place where no one will support your gran, just rob you, what scum
I come from a place where police brutality is fun
I come from a place where my friends have no dads just a lonely single mum
I come from a place where I put my trust in something that never comes
I come from a place where people know more about space than the ocean as a one
I come from a place where evil seems to live forever and the good die young
In fact, everyone is young and dumb where I come from
We're just trying to have fun
and to make it out the slums.
Third Place: Anisa and Zeinab
"Are you Muslim?"
"But you're black.
Why are you wearing the headscarf?"
"Did you convert?"
Black people can be born Muslim.
They just realised the ****** was Muslim.
"You can’t say the N-word. You're not black, you're Muslim."
People see my faith before my race.
"Muslim don’t come in black."
Like I’m not allowed to be both.
When you see Islam, I'm concealed,
Cast away from Islamic society,
But like like the prophet said:
A white has no superior over a black
nor a black has any superior over a white.
Yet I’m still treated like an outcast of Islam.
With each question my voice gets louder,
louder to prove them wrong,
louder to prove them that I belong.
Did I finally break free from the stereotype?
"No, silly, black Muslim girl, you didn’t.
You just entered a new one:
Loud, angry, ghetto black girl.
Radical, terrorist, oppressed black girl."
Now I’m that ghetto girl with bullet teeth
Voice like glass
Stomach made of metal.
I'm not allowed to yell.
My religion makes my breath smell
too much like gun powder.
They didn’t let me say my name.
Being a black Muslim doesn’t mean that we’re
limited and can’t overstep boundaries.
We are normal human beings,
living normal lives.
If anything you
us we are
Commended Anonymous Entry:
My personal variation of ‘I COME FROM’ by Dean Atta.
I come from spicy sauces, riddled with sensational seasonings - yam and fried chicken.
I come from a land of tactical taste with love deeply embedded.
I come from a home where motherly affection reigns supreme
I come from a generation, rooted from the likes of a queen
I come from an environment engulfed by my heritage of Nigerian predominance.
I come from embracing the Union Jack and all it's new nature
I come from learning the dichotomy between my background and foreground.
I come from a spiral of inner conflict, devoid of my truth
I come from a passport stating “British”, yet
I come from a heart incorporated with an ancient culture.
I come from constant rain and gloomy skies
I come from constantly being engulfed by the endless sun
I come from a past opposing my present.
I come from Nigeria, evolving its independence
I come from the local McDonald's, evolving my waistline
I come from worlds, oceans apart.
I come from a world pulled in two
I come from Googling my own culture
I come from a language encrypted by my ancestors, yet deciphered by their descendants.
I come from a line of heritage
yet I am not able to look behind.