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The Branches of Me

Created by Connor Allen and Jodi Ann Nicholson.                  September 2020

A National Dance Company Wales and Literature Wales Plethu/Weave Commission 

Born out of conversations around our mixed race identities, the Black Lives Matter movement and what this means in relation to us.


‘The Branches of Me’ begins to look at how we find a sense of harmony within a mixed identity in a society that often talks in terms of being ‘White’ or ‘Black’.

Wedi ei greu o ganlyniad i sgyrsiau o amgylch ein hunaniaeth hil gymysg, y mudiad Mae Bywydau Du o Bwys a beth mae hyn yn ei olygu mewn perthynas â ni.


Mae ‘The Branches of Me’ yn dechrau edrych ar sut rydym yn dod o hyd i ymdeimlad o harmoni o fewn hunaniaeth gymysg mewn cymdeithas sy'n aml yn siarad o ran bod yn 'Wyn' neu'n 'Ddu'.

The Branches of Me

Another black life gone 

As the world watched on

From the screens of their camera phone

A black man lay face down on the concrete all alone.


He screamed I can’t breathe

As time began to freeze

His neck under a knee

Squeezing away all his potential possibilities and future opportunities 

But what does that moment mean for me,


I mean look at me, 

Like really LOOK at me 

What do you see? 


Do you see my complexion? 

My ethnicity? 

Do you see the generations of my family tree 

Who have faced adversity and slavery

And people chanting the word monkey.

Like crisp brown leaves blowing in an autumn breeze

Their narrative, Their culture written in the ripples of the seven sea’s. 


Do you see the history that has come before me 

From the salty sands of Jamaica all the way to rainy Wales

My story of colour is made from the finer details. 

Its in the traditional Jamaican dish of ackee and salt fish 

Its in the lush green landscape of wales 

Where if all else fails, a cwtch prevails.


My complexion may be the first thing you see but it doesn’t define me. 

It’s part of the intertwined branches of my family tree 

At times I feel insane, walking around with all this pain 

Having to explain my heritage over and over again


See, black has different shades to it

Black has different layers to it 

Black has a unique history behind it 

And Black is part of my inner conflict

But I will not quit, or submit 

Not until the world commits 

To seeing the beauty black has in it. 

The beauty that we bring to it.

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