J Chambers is well-known on the underground Manchester hip-hop scene, making waves with his energetic live shows. A spoken word artist, he takes his inspiration from his Jamaican heritage, the Black British experience and the fight for equality.
At the beginning of October, Chambers was invited onto BBC children's TV show Blue Peter to read a poem that he'd written specially for the occasion. Watch the performance, and read the lyrics, in full below.
Letter to Self:
I write this 20 years your senior,
With the demeanour of making a change,
Know that the light in you,
is the spark for adults see the error of ways. Funny thing about history,
Is being the change you want to see.
The chains are now broken,
Though hate is still spoken,
What’s really the difference between you and me. Every struggle is overcome,
With focus and poise,
Walk tall with pride and with purpose
Make use of your voice.
Knowing where you come from
Helps you see where you’re headed.
Though We learn from old mistakes,
We must never forget it
Know your skin is sealed
With the promise of a brighter day
From the tears of every ancestor
Who has fought for freedom along the way.
Know your history is more than slavery
There were Empires, Dynasties,
A whole world to explore,
Eclipsed by a momentary struggles we had endure. The future is yours,
With an open mind and heart,
Though I have to pass the heavy baton,
For you to continue the fight
for the simple freedoms which we marched.
Be street smart, power is abused
But it can be also used to support,
If its captured through the lens,
It can defend your friends,
And disprove judgemental thoughts.
One of the qualities of equality
Is that we each play a part.
So we all have to speak up,
For change to really start.
Acknowledge each other in spaces,
With a nod to put a smile on your elders faces. Follow your instinct and I promise it will
Always take you to better places.
I may be black history
But you are black future.
More than a month, though less than a year
Change is coming and that's what some fear.
Black is Beautiful