Denise Jackson: Being Black Poem

A poem written by Denise Jackson and her 13 year old son.

Denise Jackson

I embrace my culture as diverse as it is

I look at the World map and say to myself ‘wow’ Gee Whizz!

The colour of my skin, I wear with pride

I think about my ancestor’s and how tragically some of them died

The evolution of language and urban slang

Yo! What’s up blood? Wha gwan Fam!


My mother a first generation of Black British they describe,

But who are they to give labels to signify?

Me, a second generation young man I strive

Observantly watching the world go by sometimes yes, I hurt inside

The racial stereotypes and negative side

Hoodies, balaclavas, knives tucked deep inside

Police brutality, the custodial deaths, random stabbings, youths being shot to death

The sheer sense of loss and hopelessness


My Grandfather tells me stories of the days gone by

Of how he sailed to England on a three week journey on a ship so high!

Yes Granddad as I smile with glee

As I think about how I relax on Virgin in Premium Economy stylee!


My brothers so cool he’s learning Mandarin, reads Manga’s plays dominoes and is awesome to me

My mother wears her hair in braids, a natural style she says ‘I don’t wear unnatural or conventional hairstyles.’

Grandma Jackson she cooks some wicked Caribbean food for me, my mouth waters and my stomach expands and always talks to me,

My great grand-father I’m told was from Panama, a Merchant sailor who worked at sea

Oh the beautiful riches my heritage has brought to me,

An inclusive mind that embraces both you and me.

Denise Jackson and Jorjan Cooper-Jackson