John Boyega has shared a first-look image from Sir Steve McQueen‘s upcoming miniseries Small Axe.
The Star Wars actor appears in an episode of the anthology series titled “Red, White And Blue,” Deadline reports. He’s portraying Leroy Logan, a former superintendent in London’s Metropolitan Police who was awarded an MBE by Queen Elizabeth II in 2001 for his role in combating racism within the force. Logan, who is now retired, decided to join the force so he could bring about change from within after seeing his father assaulted by two London officers.
Boyega wrote on Instagram: “Had the joy of teaming up with Steve McQueen for his hotly-anticipated series Small Axe. Here’s a first look! Black British history will be televised.”
Announced in June 2019, Small Axe will tell five standalone stories set within London’s West Indian community from the late ’60s to the early ’80s. The first story will be told over two hour-long episodes, with the remaining four episodes told in single hour-long installments. They’re due to debut this year on BBC One in the U.K. and Amazon Prime in the U.S.
“I felt these stories needed to be shared. I wanted to re-live, re-evaluate and investigate the journeys that my parents and the first generation of West Indians went on to deliver me here today calling myself a Black British person,” McQueen said when the miniseries was announced. The writer-director, who won an Oscar for 12 Years a Slave, has since dedicated Small Axe to George Floyd and “all the other Black people that have been murdered, seen or unseen, because of who they are.”
Between 1948 and 1970, nearly half a million people moved from the Caribbean to the U.K. to help ease labor shortages in the wake of World War II. Though encouraged to come to the U.K. by a succession of British governments, many members of the so-called “Windrush generation” – named after HMT Empire Windrush, a ship which brought one of the first large groups of Caribbean immigrants into Britain – experienced extreme racial prejudice when they arrived and for decades to come.
Other cast members confirmed for Small Axe include this year’s BAFTA Rising Star award winner Micheal Ward (The A List), Letitia Wright (Black Panther), Malachi Kirby (Black Mirror), Shaun Parkes (Hooten & The Lady), Rochenda Sandall (Line of Duty), Alex Jennings (A Very English Scandal, The Queen) and Jack Lowden (Mary Queen of Scots).
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