Letitia Wright is fighting for justice in the first trailer for “Mangrove.” Amazon Prime Video released the first look at the Small Axe episode on Thursday. The Guyanese actress and Black Panther Star, plays the role of Altheia Jones-LeCointe a Trinidadian physician and research scientist also known for her role as a leader of the British Black Panther Movement of the 1960s and 1970s.
“Mangrove” tells the true story of the Mangrove Nine, a group of Black activists who clashed with London police during a protest march in 1970, and the highly publicized trial that followed. The trial was the first judicial acknowledgment of behavior motivated by racial hatred within the Metropolitan Police. Whilst studying in London, Jones-LeCointe became involved in community organizing against racism and for the rights of people of African and Asian heritage in the UK. She worked as a teacher and organizer in the Universal Coloured Peoples’ Association (UCPA).
In addition to Wright, “Mangrove” stars Shaun Parkes, Malachi Kirby, Rochenda Sandall, Jack Lowden, Sam Spruell, Gershwyn Eustache Jnr, Nathaniel Martello-White, Richie Campbell, Jumayn Hunter and Gary Beadle. “Mangrove” — which is an official selection of the Cannes Film Festival and the New York Film Festival — was co-written by Alastair Siddons and Steve McQueen.
“Sunday, August 9th, marked 50 years since the Mangrove March, which led to nine innocent Black women and men being arrested. It was a march necessitated by relentless police brutality in Notting Hill. To commemorate the bravery of these community activists and the nine who went on to be acquitted of incitement to riot with the judge citing ‘evidence of racial hatred,’ I am sharing the trailer of Mangrove, one of five films to be released under the banner Small Axe,” McQueen said in a statement.
McQueen’s Small Axe is his first TV project. The anthology is set from the late 1960s to the mid 1980s, telling different stories involving London’s West Indian community, whose lives have been shaped by their own force of will despite rampant racism and discrimination.
In addition to “Mangrove,” the anthology includes “Lovers Rock,” “Alex Wheatle,” “Education” and “Red, White and Blue.” Small Axe will premiere on Amazon Prime Video in the U.S. later this year.