Monday, 27 June 2011


The trials for Black women though, is  weighted in our historical confidence in our colour,  as well as  to our physical attributes and  "failings". Our beauty is tied up in a hierarchy of concepts that start with how we value our African features at the foundation.

Grooming takes time and copious amounts of money but before we go spend hard earned cash at the hairdressers, first, we must stop falling into that evil corrosive  trap set for us (and unfortunately maintained by us). The trap rooted in a colonial concept of divide and conquer. We must stop resorting to knee jerk reactions about good hair or bad hair when really, its not about the hair, its about perception and self-belief.  
Fundamentally, I think Black women playing with their hair is part of our survival tool kit as much as an innate inclination to adorn. Any judgments made, is the person who doing the judging's business, not yours. Let them get on with it.
Know thy “SELF" and DO YOUR THANG
Listen to BBC commissioned docu-poem by Zena Edwards

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Gaza – there but for the grace of God

I said i didn't need to see it
didn't need to watch the news or read the paper
knowing it was happening was enough

just read me the headlines, I'll make up the rest
My mum always used to say it,
"there but for the grace of God."

dryness in my mouth like gravel
no spit even for a course comfort bread
these tears in my heart, prick needles in my eyes
chained to the creases in my palm
a painful paradox of feeling
i give thanks i am here, not there
to witness the howl, the who, the age
6 years and no longer counting birthdays, broken
under a cloth of muslin
Muslim, dark skin, broken

i don't need to see the blood or the contortion of faces
people i have known through newsflashes
and stumbling dashes across bullet ridden roads
shot to hell

i don't need to see the violently pitted walls of makeshift sanctuaries
while the earth shakes to the growl of tanks
or shocks of mocking friendly missile impacts

A Sunday afternoon turns sage as I turn the broadsheet page
i stumble across photos and sound-bites about civilian insurgents
their fury written on stones  thrown
or rather they stumble across me and i turn away too late

too late it’s inside
too late i cannot hide
can only make my day feel better by writing a poem
to acknowledge those who live the nightmare
and apologise that i am scared

Written Zena Edwards