Table des matières

ix Foreword George Elliott Clarke
xiii ID
xvii Introduction

Back a Yard
My Father’s Prayer
Sticks and Stones

Yaata’s Lament
The Ghost of Thomas Peters
I Am Africa
African Feet
The Windrush
I Am Still Your Negro
Another One Bites the Dust

Yaata’s Yowl
Golden Virginia
The Villain
The Perfect Road
The Couplet
Playing Dead

Yaata’s Groan
The Binge
The VindaLoo

Yaata’s Manifesto
The Front Line
Sixty Seconds
Stalk Time

Yaata’s Rap
Essentials for Heaven
Cinders Time
My First Half
Class A

Yaata’s Prophecy
Self Portrait 1: The Colour of My Skin
Self Portrait 2: Call Me My Name
A Wake
Forget and Pretend
Again Becoming
Farewell My Fiend

Yaata’s Epilogue


La description

Spoken-word poet Valerie Mason-John unsettles readers with potent images of ongoing trauma from slavery and colonization. Her narratives range from the beginnings of the African Diaspora to the story of a stowaway on the Windrush, from racism and sexism in Trump’s America to the wide impact of the Me Too movement. She explores the broader experience of the African Diaspora, and taboos within taboos. I Am Still Your Negro is truth that needs to be told, re-told, and remembered.


  • Winner, AUPresses Book, Jacket, & Journal Show - Poetry and Literature 2021
  • Short-listed, Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, BC and Yukon Book Prizes, West Coast Book Prize Society 2021
  • Short-listed, Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, League of Canadian Poets 2021


Included on CBC Books's list of top Canadian poetry of the year in December 2020.

"[T]he wide range of Mason-John’s vision . .. traverses history, geography, and culture. ... [Her poetry] is significant for its reappraisal of our collective past, which so often overlooks or writes over marginalized voices and experiences. [Mason-John is] explicit in calling out a hypocritical Canadian multiculturalism that pays lip service to inclusion while simultaneously entrenching systemic biases and processes that maintain a racist and exclusionary status quo. " [Full review at https://quillandquire. com/review/the-response-of-weeds-a-misplacement-of-black-poetry-on-the-prairies/ ]

- Steven W. Beattie

“The topics range from slavery and colonization to global politics and historical realities, addressing the racialized and gendered intersections of African identity, diaspora, and ancestry…. Mason-John’s poetry sheds light on these harsh realities through personal and vulnerable narratives. Their writing also offers hope for our futures by reminding readers of our collective reservoir of power, resilience, and creativity. With these tools in our hands and our ancestors beside us, we may still be negros, but we ain’t silent about it no more. ” [Full article at https://arrow-journal. org/language-and-personal-narrative-in-revolutionary-poetry/]

- shah noor hussein

"This poetry collection grabs you... Readers are confronted with the violence of the Black experience, from the haunting spectre of slavery to the current and ongoing terrorizing of the Black diaspora at the hands of the police. All of the messy, the painful, the enraging -- what we’re conditioned to believe as shameful -- is laid bare for the readers and brought to the fore. Many of these accounts traverse various places -- whether in the U.K., the U.S., or Canada -- and the bluntness and force of her words arrest you." [Full article at]

- Junie Desil

"I Am Still Your Negro takes no prisoners. With sheer brilliance, Valerie Mason-John creates poems that burn Babylon and Rome; bring you to tears; make you shout hallelujah. Her voice is that of the lamenting mother, vengeful goddess, triumphant warrior, compassionate lover, a cool ruler with a pure heart. I am left with only one conclusion about this book: it is a tour de force."

- Afua Cooper is Halifax's Poet Laureate, a global Dub poet, and Black Studies professor at Dalhousie University

"I Am Still Your Negro hauls us all up by the collar to face our shared complicity. A lot of damage has been inflicted through racism, sexism, greed. Mason-John opens some wounds in the hope of healing them."

- Alice Major, author of Welcome to the Anthropocene