Honouring Benjamin Zephaniah’s poetry and politics

<span>Photograph: MusicLive/Alamy</span>
Photograph: MusicLive/Alamy

Diane Abbott has recalled one of Benjamin Zephaniah’s greatest actions – his rejection of an OBE in 2003 (‘A hero to millions’: Benjamin Zephaniah remembered by Michael Rosen, Kae Tempest and more, 7 December). He never sold out, remaining an anarchic activist until his tragically early death. He should also be remembered as a great cat lover, often mentioning his “cool tabby cat” Danny in poems and interviews.
Ralph Lloyd-Jones

• Benjamin Zephaniah was indeed a “friend of the marginalised”. A few years ago, he sported a T-shirt with the message “More blacks, more dogs, more Irish” on stage at the Whitby Musicport festival. I ordered my T-shirt the following day, and wear it regularly.
Ian Ferguson
Pickering, North Yorkshire

• In recent TV coverage of Eastleigh v Reading in the FA Cup, the commentators frequently apologised for the “industrial language” of the crowd chants. Having watched James Cleverly in the Commons and read the WhatsApp messages from the Covid inquiry, I wonder if they should instead have apologised for the “ministerial” language?
John Lovelock

• Re global cultural assets (Italian opera singing joins pizza-making on UN cultural heritage list, 7 December), following the work of local artists in Mozambique, Mapiko dance is also now listed as an art to protect. A grand tour of culture today can be more diverse, more open and more global than the aristocratic travels of earlier centuries.
Ed Mayo

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