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D&D U3A Guest Speaker Alex Wheatle

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Alex Wheatle MBE, talking to Dulwich & District u3a on July 2 2021 at 2pm.

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Alex Wheatle (the Brixton Bard) is an accomplished and award-winning author, having written more than a dozen books, including children’s and young adult novels, as well as writing and performing a play about his life titled ‘Uprising’. Born to Jamaican parents in 1963 in Brixton, Alex spent much of his childhood in a children’s home in Croydon, before moving back to Brixton to live in a young person’s hostel. It was there that he found a sense of belonging among the West Indian community, becoming involved in the reggae music scene. In 1981, he participated in the Brixton uprising, and served four months in prison for his involvement, where he shared a cell with a Rastafarian man named Simeon who became a mentor to him. These experiences are dramatised in the film “Alex Wheatle”, the fourth instalment of Steve McQueen’s ‘Small Axe’ series. Though he was awarded an MBE for services to literature in 2008, he points out that he was only invited to one literary festival in 14 years.

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