We know The Sun is filth. They have a long tradition of going into the sewer and gulping wildly before spewing it out on those with low educational attainment. Sadly, only Liverpudlians have banned it. If the whole country followed suit, intellectual levels would undoubtedly increase somewhat.

This poor chap reads The Sun

Tragically, the activist, poet, and all-round decent person Benjamin Zephaniah has died and below is how one appreciates greatness.

Dear The Sun, Please learn!!

Born and raised in Birmingham’s Handsworth area, Zephaniah faced challenges with dyslexia and departed formal education at 13, initially unable to read or write. His foray into poetry began on Birmingham’s sound systems, and his journey led him to London, culminating in his debut book, “Pen Rhythm,” in 1980.

Despite achieving success, Zephaniah encountered blatant racism, recounting incidents where police stopped him repeatedly while driving his BMW, prompting him to sell the car.

His initial writings were rooted in dub poetry, a Jamaican style derived from the music genre of the same name. He confessed to a youthful anger that persisted throughout his life, channeling it into his writing, which he credited as a lifeline.

Notably, Zephaniah declined an OBE in 2003, expressing strong anti-empire sentiments and urging Tony Blair to engage in discussions about crime while admonishing the Queen’s references to the empire.

His memoir, “The Life And Rhymes Of Benjamin Zephaniah,” garnered acclaim, earning nominations at the National Book Awards and the Costa Book Award in 2018.

The Black Writers’ Guild hailed Zephaniah as a cherished friend and a stalwart of British literature, emphasising his role as a testament to the transformative power of reading and the significance of craftsmanship.

Tributes have poured in from various quarters, with poet Michael Rosen expressing devastation at Zephaniah’s passing, citing lessons learned and love for his work. Organisations like the Hay Book Festival and Aston Villa Football Club, where Zephaniah served as an ambassador, mourned the loss of the legendary writer and poet, acknowledging his indelible impact and unique talent.

However, we must not forget that the genital warts, also known as the British tabloids, and in this case, specifically The Scum, ran this piece back in the 1980’s on Benjamin.

Survival is now about ignoring the filth around us and choosing the path of civility. Future generations, if humanity is not extinct, will hail us for it.

Douglas James

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