Black History Month: Lee Lawrence - Pain to purpose

Event overview

What would you do if the people you trusted to uphold the law committed a crime against you? Who would you turn to? And how long would you fight them for?

Lee Lawrence was 11-years old when he witnessed the shooting of his mother Cherry Groce by police. The bullet shattered her spine and she never walked again. In the chaos that followed, 11-year-old Lee watched in horror as the News falsely pronounced his mother dead. Brixton was already a powder keg because of the deep racism that the community was experiencing. This shooting was the spark needed to trigger two days of uprisings that saw buildings brought down by petrol bombs, cars torched, and shops looted.

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The trauma of that night and everything that followed, would impact on his development as a child and adolescent. Following the shooting he was separated from his sisters. School, hospital, sleep became his life.

When his mother died in 2011 Lee campaigned for justice, culminating in a full public apology and accountability by the Metropolitan Police. He founded the Cherry Groce Foundation to make a difference to the lives of ordinary people who are faced with extraordinary challenges. In September 2020, Little, Brown published his memoir The Louder I Will Sing, winner of the 2020 Costa Biography Prize. Lee will be sharing his story and the benefits of alternative dispute resolution.

Join Lee to discuss his award-winning biography and the event that changed Brixton forever by registering on Eventbrite

‘The Louder I Will Sing’ by Lee Lawrence is available from

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8 November 2021 18:00 to 19:00

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