Anti-racism event pays tribute to Benjamin Zephaniah

Benjamin Zephaniah
Benjamin Zephaniah was a lifelong anti-racism campaigner [BBC]

The family of Benjamin Zephaniah have said his legacy will live on as young people came together for an anti-racism event in Birmingham.

Millicent Springer, the late writer, poet and actor’s sister, and his nephew Daniel Springer attended the Pass the Baton festival at The Crossing, in Digbeth, on Thursday.

The event, held to promote equality and justice, featured spoken word performances, musical acts and a special tribute to Zephaniah.

Ms Springer, whose brother was a lifelong anti-racism campaigner, described the event as a beautiful day.

She told BBC Midlands Today: “A lot of young people support his work and read his books on a daily basis.

“I think at the end of the day, his legacy will live on in young people. He will be forever looking down on us.”

Millicent Springer
Zephaniah's sister Millicent Springer said her brother's legacy would live on [BBC]

Pupils from 10 schools and colleges were at the festival with the aim of celebrating diversity.

Mr Springer said racism remained a problem in society but he believed things would get better in years to come.

“We’re just going to be one people and that’s what he always wanted,” he added.

Event co-organiser Brandon Chu said Zephaniah’s words had helped to inspire young individuals to “build a community”.

“Everyone has the right to live, regardless of their skin, races and everything else,” he said.

Millicent and Daniel Springer
Zephaniah's sister Millicent Springer and his nephew Daniel Springer were at the event [BBC]

Zephaniah, from Handsworth, died in December last year at the age of 65, eight weeks after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.

A mural of the late Peaky Blinders star created by artist Bunny Bread was recently unveiled at the Sons of Rest Building in Handsworth Park.

His wife Qian Zephaniah was in attendance at the unveiling and said her late husband gave a “lot of work and a lot of love to society and to people”.

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