Big Narstie To Host Podcast Series Marking 40 Years Since Brixton Riots

Big Narstie To Host Podcast Series Marking 40 Years Since Brixton Riots

April 07, 2021

It's been 40 years since the Brixton riots took place in 1981 and the knock-on effects of those days are still felt today. To mark the anniversary, BBC 5Live has put together an eight-part podcast series hosted by Big Narstie under the title Brixton: Flames On The Frontline.

The new series will use interviews, archive audio, music and dramatised scenes written and performed by Black Britons to tell the story of what lead to the riots as well as their lasting legacy.

The series will also look at historic events inextricably linked to the riots, including the rise of the National Front, the New Cross fire, and the Black People's Day Of Action.

Speaking on why the podcast is so important to him, Narstie explained: "The reason I wanted to take part in this podcast is because I'm a Brixton-native and it's part of my culture and heritage. The significance of the Brixton uprising was that people decided they would no longer sit quietly (and be a beating stick) — people had to stand up for themselves.

"The Brixton uprising was the start of a process. Things have changed for the Black community in the sense of that people are no longer scared to fight for freedom or to stand up for themselves. It wasn't just the Black community who took part in the uprising — a lot of people tend to forget this. While it was predominantly a Black protest, other colours and creeds could see what was happening and felt the need to join in.

"The riots were largely about black people but white people could also see there was oppression. It happened because people felt they were being persecuted and oppressed."

The first two episodes in the series will be released this Friday, April 9, via BBC Sounds with subsequent episodes dropping every Friday.

Words: James Keith
Photography: Stuart Simpson