During my childhood it often felt like all the odds were against me. I was born in Bradford and lived in Windhill, Shipley for most of my youth. At great cost to my education I left school at a very young age to care for my Mother and younger siblings. Whilst acting as a young carer, and facing the typical worries that adolescence brings to us all, I was also simultaneously struggling understand my own identity as a mixed raced young woman of English, Indian and Pakistani decent.
It was through poetry and the spoken word that I finally began to find my voice, to understand myself and the world around me. Over the past few years I have shared my love of poetry through performance art tried to be an honest and uplifting voice for Bradford. I truly believe in the power the spoken word, and its ability to help, to calm, to educate and to inspire others.
I write and perform poetry about all sorts of things; from my personal life to current environmental issues, social stigmas, homelessness, poverty and discrimination.
‘Diversity’ was a poem I wrote about my identity and about growing up as a mixed race child. Not understanding my own ethnicity and feeling like I didn’t fit in anywhere or belong to any culture. My skin colour highlighted that I was different to everyone else and for that I was bullied. It took me till my adulthood to realise that being different is actually a beautiful thing, and that lots of mixed race people had faced similar difficulties, challenges and abuse.
There remains much to be done, therefore, to make sure that others born of many backgrounds are treated equally, fairly and with respect – as humans first.
Sharena Lee Satti