Violet Nights: Children of the Windrush

Thu 25 April 2019

The Windrush scandal shocked a nation, but how has it affected young people? Hear from Marci Phonix in a discussion chaired by Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff, with a performance by MC LeeN.

At this edition of Violet Nights, explore the government’s ‘hostile environment policy’ and hear intergenerational Windrush stories.

In 2018, the Windrush scandal erupted around UK residents who had their rights threatened or removed by the Home Office, and who were, in some cases, deported. Many people lost their jobs, homes, benefits and access to care on the NHS.

Chairing the debate is Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff, editor of the book Mother Country: Real Stories of the Windrush Children, a leading new exploration of the Windrush generation featuring David Lammy, Lenny Henry, Corinne Bailey Rae, Sharmaine Lovegrove, Hannah Lowe, Jamz Supernova, Natasha Gordon and Rikki Beadle-Blair.

Joining him in discussion is Grime MC Marci Phonix, who went viral in 2018 for criticising MP Kwasi Kwarteng live on Channel 4 News over the Windrush scandal. Phonix uses his music to highlight Windrush and other social issues.

Performance comes from producer and MC LeeN, aka Jesse-Lee Norville. He uses his ability to improvise, combined with a passion for current affairs, concerns about his community and his desire to entertain and educate. The final components are the phrases, which he describes as ‘a heartbeat jolting the spectator into a new state of mind’.

Brinkhurst-Cuff is an award-winning writer, editor and columnist who focuses on issues surrounding race, social justice, culture and media. She is Deputy Editor at gal-dem, a magazine written and produced exclusively by women of colour and non-binary people of colour, aiming to diversify the journalism landscape.

Brinkhurst-Cuff also contributes to publications including The Guardian, iPaper and Dazed, and is editor of the book Mother Country: Real Stories of the Windrush Children, a leading new exploration of the Windrush generation.

Marci Phonix’s music has been backed by BBC 1Xtra’s head of playlist DJ Target, as well as being shown continual support from the likes of Manny Norte at Capital Xtra, Complex magazine, Noisey, and online platforms GRM Daily and Link Up TV. In recent months, Phonix has also been featured and interviewed on Sky News, Vice, RT and Talkradio. He is also the official face and voiceover of brand-new online sports platform OTRO.

Violet Nights is our social space for young people to express their views and explore topical issues through music, performance and discussion.

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