The BBC is to begin airing a new series tonight, directed by Academy Award winning director Steve McQueen.
Spanning three decades, the Small Axe anthology series opens with Enoch Powell’s Rivers of Blood speech and traces the lives of those in London’s West Indian community, as well as featuring The Mangrove, a restaurant in Ladbroke Grove which becomes a community space and years later a meeting-point for protestors, including the Mangrove Nine.
The Mangrove Nine were a group of black activists who fought against prejudice within London’s police during a protest in 1970, followed by a significant and widely-publicised trial.
The trial of the Mangrove Nine was the first judicial acknowledgment of racism and bigoted behaviour within the Metropolitan Police.
The name for the series is taken from a Jamaican proverb; ‘If you are the big tree, we are the small axe’ – meaning marginalised voices can bring about big change.
When does the series start and who’s in the cast?
Who is in the cast for Small Axe?
The anthology series includes a star-studded cast.
Letitia Wright as Altheia Jones-LeCointe
Well known for her roles in Black Panther and Top Boy, Letitia Wright plays the real-life Altheia Jones-LeCointe, a Trinidadian physician and research scientist who became known for her role as a leader of the British Black Panther Movement of the 1960s and 1970s.
John Boyega as Leroy Logan
John Boyega, known for roles in the latest Star Wars movies, will take on the role of Leroy Logan.
Logan is a man who joined the police after his father was racially abused by officers, and brutally beaten. Logan decided to focus on trying to fix the system from within, eventually being elected the first chair of the National Black Police Association in 1998.
Today, Logan is retired and has written about his time in the force. He received an MBE in 2000.
Malachi Kirby as Darcus Howe
Malachi Kirby is an actor known for his roles in Roots and Black Mirror.
Kirby will play Darcus Howe, an activist and broadcaster originally from Trinidad. A member of the British Black Panthers, he was known as one of the Mangrove Nine – a group who marched to the police station in Notting Hill to protest police raids of the Mangrove restaurant.
In 1981, he also organised a 20,000-strong Black People’s Day of Action in protest at the handling of the investigation into the New Cross Fire, where 13 black teenagers died.
Shaun Parkes as Frank Crichlow
Shaun Parkes is an actor known for roles across television and film, including The Mummy Returns and Line of Duty.
Parkes will play Frank Crichlow, a British community activist and civil rights campaigner, who became known in 1960s London as a godfather of black radicalism.
The cast also includes Rochenda Sandall (Line Of Duty, Black Mirror), Alex Jennings (A Very English Scandal, Victoria) and Jack Lowden (The Long Song, Mary Queen Of Scots).
What time does Small Axe start tonight?
The Small Axe anthology will begin tonight at 9pm on BBC One.
Mangrove, the first of the Small Axe films, will premiere tonight and also be available on iPlayer.
How many Small Axe films will there be?
There will be five films in total.
- Lovers Rock will air on Sunday, November 22
- Education will air on Sunday, November 29
- Alex Wheatle will air on Sunday, December 6
- Red, White and Blue will air Sunday, December 13
Credit: Original article published here.