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Benjamin Zephaniah

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The Resume

    (April 15, 1958-December 7, 2023)
    Born in Handsworth, West Midlands, England, United Kingdom
    Poetry collections include 'Pen Rhythm' (1980), 'The Dread Affair' (1985), 'City Psalms' (1992), 'School's Out: Poems Not for School' (1997), and 'Too Black, Too Strong' (2001)
    Wrote the novels 'Face' (1997), 'Refugee Boy' (2001), 'Gangsta Rap' (2004), 'Teacher Is Dead' (2007), and 'Terror Kid' (2014)
    Wrote the children's books 'J Is for Jamaica' (2006) and 'When I Grow Up' (2011)
    Recorded the albums 'Rasta' (1982), 'Us An Dem' (1990), 'Belly of De Beast' (1996), 'Naked' (2005), and 'Revolutionary Minds' (2018)
    Portrayed Jeremiah 'Jimmy' Jesus in 'Peaky Blinders' (2013-19)

Why he might be annoying:

    He left school at age 13 unable to read or write.
    He served a prison sentence for burglary.
    He admitted to hitting a former girlfriend, noting '[The guilt] got in the way of my meditation.'
    He is a vegan.
    He supports PeTA and the Animal Liberation Front.
    He said, 'Do something illegal at least once a day and be proud of it.'

Why he might not be annoying:

    He and his mother were temporarily homeless when they fled his abusive father.
    His difficulties with reading and writing were caused by dyslexia, which was not diagnosed until he was an adult.
    As part of his mission to 'take poetry everywhere,' including to people who do not usually buy books, he turned his poetry readings into concert-like performances.
    Nelson Mandela requested that he host the Two Nations Concert at the Royal Albert Hall (1996).
    He spoke out against homophobia in Jamaica.
    He noted, 'I got stopped four times after I bought a BMW when I became successful with poetry. I kept getting stopped by the police, so I sold it.'

Credit: C. Fishel

Featured in the following Annoying Collections:

Year In Review:

    In 2023, Out of 214 Votes: 25.70% Annoying
    In 2022, Out of 2 Votes: 50.0% Annoying
    In 2021, Out of 24 Votes: 54.17% Annoying