Benjamin Zephaniah is one of Britain's most renowned poets. By the time he was 15 he had gained a reputation as a young poet who was capable of speaking on local and international issues. His first book, Pen Rhythm was published when he was 22. Throughout his career, his mission has been to take poetry everywhere and to everyone. In 1998 the University of North London awarded him an honorary doctorate in recognition of his work. His previous poetry collections include Talking Turkeys, Funky Chickens and Wicked World. He has also written two novels: Face and Feugee Boy. Another book he has written is J is for Jamaica.
We are Britain
Who are the British?

Ask us, and you'll find that we dance to music from America, Africa and Asia; we eat food from Ireland, Italy and Jamaica; we speak more than three hundred languages and we know over four hundred different ways to cook a potato. We look Celtic, Arab and Bengali; we wear kilts, saris and football shorts; and if you get very close to us and look right into our eyes, you can almost see the history of the world.

We are Britain takes a poetic look at young British people who work, rest and play. None of these children want to live in a world where everybody looks like them; they are all ready to embrace a multicultural, multicoloured land where every child is equal and all children have a poem to call their own.

If Britain is going to be great in the future, it will be because these kids want curry and chips, mangoes and strawberries and banana crumble, and they think of all these as British.

The British are not a single tribe, or a single religion, and we don't come from a single place. But we are building a home where we are all able to be who we want to be, yet still be British.

That is what we do: we take, we adapt and we move forward.
(Benjamin Zephaniah 2002)
We are Britain!
We are Britain!
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To learn more and check out - Zephaniah and students read The British
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Poems Inspired by Benjamin Zephaniah