A breed of different shades.

I recently wrote (and recorded) my first spoken word poem. The perfectionist in me is not one hundred percent satisfied with the recitation, however the sentiment is there! Also please note that some of the words are slightly alternated from my original scripted piece, probably due to my nerves of trying not to get it wrong. Enjoy! 

A breed of different shades: 

Mixed race,

we are the breed of different shades,

the variety that inspires a continuous stream of curiosity,

scrutinises, explanations, animosity—

Where are you from?


The exotic the unknown,


the people who have to justify their existence

a resistance,

to Society’s inflexible rules of the racial grouping system


I’m from London

But no—really, where are you from?


As ‘other’ I must answer to this displacement, debasement,

but why the need for this retracement?

Must I be filed into a box,  

just to make you feel comfortable,

safe, indestructible,

I must show myself to be deductible?


Human. I’m a citizen of the world

Now come on that’s not a label—

I mean, could you be a little bit more specific,

up until now your answer has been pretty unscientific


Polluted blood amalgamating 

either fetishised or alienated,

we are the ‘not quite there’ people by Society’s predicates,

conditioned to a life of unequal opportunities

A life occupied with uncertainty,

we are genetically inclined to its adversities


More scientific, okay

I’m black and I’m white,

My genetics is a delicate mixture of an Italian gene,

which yes, does make me just a little bit bright,

but is carefully neutralised with my Gambian spleen


Oh wow, really?

What’s it like to be that,

the other, the abstract?


In a society that does not acknowledge our diversity,

they tell you: please tick a box on our governmental questionnaire,

you are either White, Mixed, Asian or Black,

we don’t really care, honesty you could be from anywhere,

but your melange is not what we want on this feedback

so please, just tick a box



Yes you know, you are neither us nor them

Deprived to be part of the privileged inventor,

but not too dark to be utterly condemned

Do you find yourself often stuck in the centre?


The not knowing where I ‘fit in’,

the conflict between my entitled, privileged part,

and my diligent, impoverished half?

The divergence between prerogative of my western component,

which the belittling, derision and contempt for my other half augments

Phenomena unknown to my western side,

but into neither of those two categories, my vessel does so easily divide


The centre, what do you mean?

Well do you ever feel like you’re in a limbo?

I guess you could say that, I am sort of in-between


I speak too white to be black,

but dance to black to be white

My curls are beautiful,

because they are diluted,

not too kinky to be refuted

My skin is beautiful, because ‘sunkiss’ is now mainstream,

somehow validating these pigments that course through my bloodstream


Too ‘toubab’ for my African roots,

but a shade too dark to be light, my white part hoots

And I want to reply who commanded all these divisions?

Dissection: the thorny pathways for more collisions

Can anyone really be born with that philosophy?

And with all these chemicals and bleaching it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy


How about you, where you are from?

I’m from London


Explanations unneeded,

because to be white means to live a life unimpeded.

Nothing ‘unusual’ or ‘tropical’

No need for a conversation to get topical

because to be a white man

means you’re not just seen as that

You’re a blank canvas, not bound by the colour of your skin,

unlike my mother, your chances in life will never be so slim


I, however am mixed race,

a breed of different shades

The exotic the unknown,


a resistance,

to all this divisional persistence.

Genetically inclined to this life of uncertainty,

under the yoke of its all its adversities


And I am bloody proud to be so.


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