The Negro Slave
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This poem was written for a competition organised by the Arts Council England to commemorate the Bicentenary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act by writing a poem on the theme of enslavement. Eleven poems would be written by the country�s leading poets and the twelfth poem, written by a budding poet, would be selected through a competition. The prize was �500.00 same as the one paid to the commissioned poets. Well, as usual, it was a Black Hole transaction. To tell you the truth I don�t have any faith in these kinds of competitions. I am sure they are fixed! The poem is actually my rendering of the famous poem The African Chief which I had come across 20 years ago. The good thing about the competition was that I wrote two additional poems based on factual events of the slavery which are my original pieces of work. Initially, I had called this poem The African Slave but whilst doing research for the competition I found that it was an inappropriate title. African Slavery is quite distinct from the American Slavery. So I changed the title to The Negro Slave.

Bristol, in particular the area where I have been living for the last quarter of centaury, was a well known slave port � this is my way of redeeming this horrible participation into history. We had Archie Leach, Concorde, Brunel & now Banksy some of the well known products but none of them would ever surpass this notoriety!

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