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Small Axe has done a stellar job of bringing stories on Black British History to life.
Directed by Award-winning Steve McQueen, the latest offering is ‘Red, White, and Blue’
This is based on the true story of Leroy Logan MBE’s career as a policeman.
John Boyega plays Leroy Logan, a portrayal he was incredibly happy with. In an interview with The Guardian, he said “John just got it,” he says. “He saw me as what I was, a Black man and a Black cop trying to make change from within.”
Leroy originally used to work in a research laboratory at The Royal Free hospital. He received a phone call at work which changed the trajectory of his life.
His father Kenneth was a lorry driver, who was stopped by the police because he was accused of blocking the highway. When he assured the police that he wasn’t, he failed the “attitude-test” that the police officers gave him before they approached him.
The “attitude test” was a secret conversation held between the police officers, if they approached a Black person and they didn’t like the way the Black person responded they failed the “attitude test”.
For failing the “attitude test” Kenneth was beaten by the police officers so badly that Leroy didn’t recognise him at the hospital.
His father was charged with resisting arrest and obstructing the street for which he was found not guilty.
Understandably this led to Kenneth distrusting the police, but it also lit a fire within Leroy.
Leroy recalled a conversation with his then-manager who suggested that he should become a policeman because his natural out-going nature wasn’t suited for a life in the laboratories.
His wife Gretl also said, “Maybe what has happened shows why you should join, to try and change things.”
“To try and change things” was an understatement. Leroy went on to achieve a 30-year career and retired in 2013 as a superintendent.
Leroy even joined John Boyega during June’s Black Lives Matter UK event.
This is such an important episode to watch and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it.
It’s on at BBC one at 9 pm and to all our non-UK followers it’s available to stream on Amazon next week.
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