Benjamin Zephaniah's poem 'Knowing Me' and other Post-Colonial Literature has inspired me to post this blog because one of its main themes are identity - and 'cause I'm studying it at English A level.
Who are we? Why do events from decades ago still affect personal views now? Especially when we're living in such a multi-cultural society today. Why is it that some people are still against mixed race babies - no, I'm not just talking about Black and White parents, I'm talking about Asian and White, Oriental and Black etc. Personally, I think they make beautiful babies!
Benjamin Zephaniah's 'Knowing Me' poem emphasises how proud he is to be who he is; Ethiopian and Jamaican. It does not make him "feel lost" neither is he against "sex" with other ethnicities; "diversity is [his] pornography" and he does not need to have an "identity crisis to feel oppressed". Unlike Derek Walcott's poems on slavery, oppression and imprisonment e.g. 'The Castaway' and 'The Almond Trees', Zephaniah takes a more modern approach and reflects the socioety he is living in now to his personal views of things. He does not allow what happened to his ancestors to affect his identity and feels accepted in the world he lives in now.
Zadie Smith's 'White Teeth' also shows the influence of colonialism on individuals. One of my favourite poems are 'A Grain of Wheat' written by Ngugi wa Thiong'o. It's a great poem surrounding the idea of isolation and how it can affect you mentally and psychologically.
Basically, what I'm trying to say is that identity is mostly seen as what your ethnic background is, and it's funny how they have certain categories in those questionnaires you have to fill out. What if you don't entirely just fit in one; like me being Filipino, Japanese and Spanish but living in Britain - where do I tick? I'm not saying I feel lost but it does not feel right to be categorised into just one ethnic background when you belong to more than just one. This forces me to tick "Any other Asian background" - it kind of feels degrading how you're pushed to the side about "other" kmt.
But hey, you still get those immature racist people calling you "Chinese" or whatever. LISTEN. Don't be calling Oriental looking Asians "Chinese" or ask for DVDs when we blaitenly do not look like DVD sellers. You wouldn't like it if I asked you for Curry, a spliff, or asked if you were selling fake Rolex watches so allow stereotyping or doing whatever you're doing thinking you know who we are. Uhhh love, you don't cause you're just a random "it" on road who just can't tell the difference in the type of Oriental Asians you see so BUGGER OFF. The majority of you probably don't take your time fixing up your identity yet are so proud of who you are?! Alright, bigheads and conceited individuals need serious fixing up 'cause you really do not have a say in other people's lives, thinking that you do. Think again.
Until next time, Audrey*