Zephaniah on TV

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Zephaniah on TV

Postby Dubac » Fri Dec 17, 2004 1:16 pm

Re the poet Benjamin Zephaniah who rejected the 'OBE' honour this year because of its links to British colonialism. I posted this earlier in a different thread, and just realised it might be of interest to a wider audience.

Anyhow, people in the UK can find out for themselves on Sunday when his documentary "The OBE Is Not For Me" airs.

He's just been plugging it on Breakfast TV, saying he would have turned down the award even if it didn't have the word 'Empire' in it.

The programme includes a meeting with some West Indian (WWII) ex-Servicemen who by contrast were proud to receive the honour. But Benjamin cited education as the reason for the difference in attitude, saying that previous generations growing up in Jamaica were denied knowledge of their African culture and descendants.

Benjamin did, however, seem keen to show that his opposition and distrust related mainly to governments and not to the UK in general, mentioning that he was proud of the work he performs for the British Council in promoting the country's multiculturalism.

[BBC 2, Sunday 19 December, 19.00 GMT]

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