FIFTY YEARS ago 150 protesters of West Indian, African and South Asian
heritage in Notting Hill, West London marched to local police station in protest of police harassment in their communities including the Mangrove restaurant.
Nine protest leaders were arrested and charged with incitement to
riot: Frank Crichlow, Darcus Howe, Altheia Jones-LeCointe, Barbara Beese, Rupert Boyce, Rhodan Gordon, Anthony Innis, Rothwell Kentish and Godfrey Millett.
The group later became known as the ‘Mangrove 9’.
Mangrove is one of five films from Small Axe, a drama anthology which comprises five original films by Academy Award, BAFTA, and Golden Globe-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen (Hunger, 12 Years A Slave).
Set from the late 1960s to the mid-1980s, the films each tell a different story involving London’s West Indian community, whose lives have been shaped
by their own force of will despite rampant racism and discrimination.
The title is derived from an African proverb, which has resonance throughout the Caribbean, “if you are the big tree, we are the small axe”.
This was made popular by Bob Marley and the Wailers with the song ‘Small Axe’ from the album Burnin’ (1973).
Full interview below.