Lee Lawrence Interview

written by Joy Sigaud

Lee Lawrence

Lee Lawrence is the son of Cherry Groce. His award winning book, The Louder I Sing,  is a powerful memoir about growing up in Britain. Lee, who was just 11 years old when his mother was wrongfully shot by police in Brixton in 1985 has spent his life campaigning for justice on her behalf.   Joy Sigaud asked him for some comments:


J.S.  What does the Cherry Groce Memorial mean to you and your family …and the wider community?

L.L.  For me personally and my family, the memorial means that my mum’s memory and legacy is solidified in Black British history as it should be. In terms of the community and the wider community, it is something we can all take strength from, that truth and justice can and will prevail. It’s a symbolisation of hope of what we can achieve when we come together and unite. There is a great learning opportunity to prevent history repeating itself.

J.S.  Did your family receive any form of compensation for this injustice/error?

What the family was successful in achieving was reparations to acknowledge the irreparable damage that was caused as a result of multiple serious failings at the hands of the Metropolitan police.

J.S.   Seeing the gross injustices and victimisation  marginalised communities continue to experience, do you see a way forward?

L.L. Because by nature I am an optimist I will say where there is a will, there is a way.

J.S.  And what would you like to see?

L.L.  I would like to see more compassion and empathy for what we have had to endure, to allow these deep rooted wounds to heal. Secondly, to see some real accountability.

Lastly, a real collective effort to put things right with those who have been on the receiving end of these terrible injustices at the heart of the conversation about solutions.


The Cherry Groce Memorial 


Young Dorothy ‘Cherry’ Groce

The memorial designed by Sir David Adjaye will be delivered by the Cherry Groce Foundation, a registered charity  which offers a wide range of support primarily for marginalised Black, Caribbean and African communities who continue to be discriminated against even in modern British society. This is especially due to race, class and disability.

Founded by her son Lee Lawrence it offers a variety of services including community transport. It also seeks to assist in social and restorative justice and provide education and guidance in overcoming adversity.

Despite suffering life changing and life limiting injuries caused by the police, the experiences and memory of Dorothy ‘Cherry’ Groce epitomises the daily struggle which reflects a large proportion of the Black community.  But, as a continuous source of inspiration, an example of resilience and strength, her spirit and courage continues to  envelop  not only the heart of Brixton but also, the wider community beyond and  these values are at the very core of the Foundation.

Extract from Editions Lifestyle Magazine