An Intimate Conversation and Book Reading with Alex Wheatle

We were deeply honoured to have hosted the iconic multi-award-winning author, Alex Wheatle MBE on November 9th at the JN Bank UK Branch. The audience was in for a riveting conversation and book reading. This was all centred on his latest publication ‘Sufferah – Memoir of A Brixton Reggae Head’ where he details how reggae music became his salvation through a childhood marred by abuse.

Our moderator for the evening was the engaging Althea Wolfe (literary and cultural heritage producer). Attendees were treated to an insightful and exciting journey as Alex read from different areas of the book. These were amplified by photos featured in the book and gave a vividly authentic experience of some poignant segments of his journey during that time in his life.

As a celebrated ‘son’ of Brixton, it was a kind of ‘coming home’ for an amazingly outstanding and accomplished hero. At 16 years old Alex started writing lyrics about everyday life in Brixton as a founding member of the Crucial Rocker Sound System. He also served time for his part in the Brixton Uprising which is also captured in the novel. Alex expressed how pleased he was to be at the JN Bank UK branch community space and to see how it is being utilised to bring the community together in a positive way. He shared how such a space was not available or accessible to him and others like him back then.
Alex has written over a dozen books for children and adults including his first novel Brixton Rock which was published in 1999 to critical acclaim. The story of his teenage years was the basis of Oscar winning filmmaker Steve McQueen’s ‘Alex Wheatle’ in the much-acclaimed Small Axe series (aired on BBC One in 2020).

We are proud to have had the privilege to host this amazing author for our event. It was an enlightening, stimulating and enriching evening.