The famous British poet and ‘Peaky Blinders’: In 1958, born amidst the heart of Birmingham, the backdrop for Peaky Blinders, emerged Benjamin Zephaniah, the offspring of a Barbadian postman and a Jamaican nurse.
This week marked the passing of the renowned British poet, Benjamin Zephaniah, who, famously rejecting an honor bestowed by Queen Elizabeth II due to Britain’s historical ties to slavery and its empire, concluded his journey at the age of 65, as confirmed by his grieving family. More info about The famous British poet and ‘Peaky Blinders’ actor, Benjamin Zephaniah, has passed away at the age of 65.
The famous British poet and ‘Peaky Blinders’
A poet deeply immersed in Rastafarian culture, Zephaniah’s artistic tapestry drew significant inspiration from the rhythmic beats and verses of Jamaica. Beyond his poetic pursuits, he delved into the realm of acting, gracing the sixth season of the acclaimed series “Peaky Blinders” with his presence, embodying the character Jeremiah Jesus.
The lament echoed through his family’s official Instagram statement, conveying the profound sorrow at the loss of their cherished husband, son, and brother. The cause of this somber departure was a diagnosis of a brain tumor merely eight weeks ago. More info about The famous British poet and ‘Peaky Blinders’ actor, Benjamin Zephaniah, has passed away at the age of 65.
In the year 2003, he boldly rejected the Order of the British Empire (OBE) accolade, intended for his literary contributions, a recommendation attributed to Prime Minister Tony Blair. Zephaniah’s refusal stemmed from the award’s nomenclature, evoking the harsh memories of his ancestors’ agonizing ordeals under their white oppressors.
“The word ’empire’ stirs anger within me; it resurrects memories of slavery, millennia of brutality—recalling the rape of my foremothers and the brutalization of my forefathers,” he passionately expressed during that period.
Born in the tapestry of Birmingham in 1958, where the intrigue of “Peaky Blinders” unfolds, Zephaniah’s origins trace back to a Barbadian postman father and a Jamaican nurse mother. His educational journey, marked by dyslexia, led him to depart from formal schooling at the tender age of 13, grappling with the inability to read or write. A youthful encounter with the law resulted in a prison term for burglary. More info about The famous British poet and ‘Peaky Blinders’ actor, Benjamin Zephaniah, has passed away at the age of 65.
The genesis of his literary endeavors embraced the expressive cadence of dub poetry, a Jamaican art form. Upon relocating to London in his twenties, the poet began etching his presence into the cultural landscape. The inaugural volume of his poetic musings, “Pen Rhythm,” graced the literary world in 1980.
In 2008, The Times bestowed upon him the honor of inclusion in their roster of Britain’s top 50 post-war writers. The poet’s foray into children’s literature, marked by the unexpected success of “Talking Turkeys” in 1994, necessitated an expedited reprint within six weeks of its release. His subsequent novels, delving into the gritty realities of teenage life, garnered acclaim for bridging the literary gap for young readers.
Zephaniah’s family, reflecting on his impactful journey, acknowledged him as a “true pioneer and innovator” who bequeathed a legacy spanning poems, literature, music, television, and radio. Their gratitude extended to all who embraced Professor Benjamin Zephaniah.
The Black Writers’ Guild, an organization he played a pivotal role in establishing, paid homage to “a deeply valued friend and a titan of British literature.” Their statement hailed Zephaniah as a man of integrity, exemplifying the transformative power of reading and the significance of craftsmanship in life.