Taken from the forthcoming debut album The Collection: Peacocks & Other Savage Beasts - a compilation of contemplative poems that discuss identity, culture, trauma and love - “Why White Folks Can’t Call Me Nigga” boldly tackles socio-racial conduct and interaction between it’s earnestly heartfelt words.

Opening with an ominously arresting bassline that immediately segues into a frenetic, jazz-infused drumbeat, the track chimes poignantly with every statement made. As the song drives forth, Tenesha tackles black pain and suffering with defiance, checking Charleston murderer Dylann Roof as a white supremacist whilst remarking the U.S legal system institutionally racist, and observing how the implications of antebellum slavery continues to grip and grind down upon the black community today.

As is with such topics, Tenesha’s anger is palpable yet her delivery is disarmingly calm. “You can’t see me, been living beside you for hundreds of years / Building communities brick by brick, but you can’t hear me” the talented poet declares, citing cultural blending and the “bi-colloquial” language that black individuals partake in - whether it be knowingly or not - in order to assimilate in white society; “Whispering the ideals of black nationalists, whilst mouthing the national anthem”.

The pillaging of black culture for white gain - especially in musical spheres - is in many ways a modern continuation of black oppression and erasure, often only acknowledging black existence long enough to profiteer but not elevate the community to equality. “You can’t call me ‘nigga’ because the word is code for ‘brother’, and we ain’t kin like that / Your appropriation of my culture has not been by my permission / Don’t call me ‘nigga’ because my humanity is more important than your swag”.

For all the firm points made in “Why White Folks Can’t Call Me Nigga”, Tenesha’s aim is to educate not aggravate, forcing her audience to witness some uncomfortable truths in a bid to liberate and heal us all from the implications of our unified history. “I hope between these lines you find healing,” says Tenesha. “I hope your compassion for others grows. I hope you will make the decision you were afraid to make. I hope you will learn how to turn pain into power and purpose.”

The last line of the track perfectly surmises the message for white people to listen and hear the stories of the historically oppressed, instead of often lurching to the defensive. “To be a nigga or to not be a nigga, that is the question,"says Tenesha. "It’s a conversation that white folks simply are not invited to”.

“Why White Folks Can’t Call Me Nigga” is available now via On The Corner. Peacocks & Other Savage Beasts is to be released 30 August. Follow Tenesha The Wordsmith on Instagram.