The launch was held at the House of Commons in Committee Room 14, the Gladstone Room. The event was sponsored by Sadiq Khan (Labour), Sir Peter Bottomley (Conservative) and Tom Brake Liberal-Democrat), thus demonstrating cross-party support for the ant-racist agenda set by the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry.
The text was edited by the playwright Stephen Sharkey. The reading was directed Melissa Dunne and was performed by three professional actors: Tom Golding, Kelechi Okafor and Robert Macpherson (pictured).
There was prolonged applause. I did a brief question and answer session and several people spoke.
Leroy Logan, retiring Chief Superintendent, spoke of his experience of years as a black Metropolitan Police officer
Doreen Lawrence then spoke movingly about her feelings 20 years on from the brutal racist murder of the eldest of her three children.
She also told us of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust for young people in its fine building in Bermondsey. It was a pleasure to see her face light up when talking about this positive outcome from the disaster 20 years ago.
I then encouraged people to give financial help to replace three central Governmental grants to the Stephen Lawrence Centre, none of which has been renewed this year.
Alison Shaw, Director of the Policy Press, encouraged people to read the book and the audience needed little persuading.
Not surprisingly the best outcome of the event was the networking which took off from the minute the business was over.
I ended the evening with a call for a united anti-racism movement. It was a memorable event and the first of I hope many more.
Richard Stone April 2013