The Peaky Blinders actor, Benjamin Zephaniah, who also had great writing and activism work behind him, died from brain tumor effects on Thursday morning.
The latest post on Zephaniah’s official Instagram account said: “With great sadness and regret we announce the death of our beloved Husband, Son, and Brother in the early hours of this morning.”
It was also confirmed that Zephaniah was surrounded by his wife and loved ones when he passed away.
In a different part, was mentioned that “Benjamin was a true pioneer and innovator, he gave the world too much. Through an amazing career including a huge body of poems, literature, music, television, and radio, he leaves us with a joyful and fantastic legacy.”
Due to his extensive work in poetry and music, many artists and media organizations, including the journalist Owen Jones, BBC Radio 6, and Rough Trade, paid tribute to him through social media posts.
Zephaniah was born and raised in Birmingham, and found his way to London as a black poet who wanted to expand his audience at a younger age.
In 1982, Zephaniah released the album Rasta, which featured the Wailers’ first recording since the death of Bob Marley.
He was always very vocal on racism and education issues.
Between 2013 and 2022, Zephaniah played the role of preacher Jeremiah “Jimmy” Jesus in BBC drama Peaky Blinders, appearing in 14 episodes across the 6th series season.
He published more than 20 books including poetry, plays and novels for children.
In November 2003, he was offered an appointment as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire(OBE) but publicly rejected the honour, saying: “I get angry when I hear that word ’empire’; it reminds me of slavery and brutality.”
Throughout his life, he was awarded at least 16 honorary doctorates by different institutions while The Times listed him among the 50 greatest post-war writers in 2008.