Black Britain at Boiling Point

Written by Jade Sullivan, Outreach Manager for Brixton Finishing School


I am of mixed heritage. My mother is white English, my father is black Jamaican. My mother is very pro-black, teaching me my black history alongside my father. My white Granddad was a Grenadier Guard who marched HRH Elizabeth II to become The Queen for her Coronation in 1953. He was a racist. I didn’t meet him till he was dying. Unfortunately he didn’t have a relationship with me, or any of his white grandchildren. I choose to describe myself as black, as that is the way the world sees me, and I believe that as long as there is racism in the world, the shade of my blackness shouldn’t be put into a separate box.

As a black mixed mother aged 44, and mother of three black children; girl/boy twins aged 10 (about to apply to enter high school) and a seven-year-old girl, I ask myself “Do black lives actually really ever matter in Britain today?”

“You can’t understand most of the important things from a distance. You must get close” Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. To truly understand someone, you have to take your shoes off first, to put their shoes on. So come close, I’m going to whisper in your ear.

Chris Kaba’s Mama Helen Nkama (Photographer unknown TBC) from Justice for Chris March Saturday 10th September 2022
Chris Kaba’s Mama Helen Nkama (Photographer unknown TBC) from Justice for Chris March Saturday 10th September 2022
No Woman, No Cry BY CHRIS OFILI; DOREEN LAWRENCE , Chris Ofili dinner to celebrate the opening of his exhibition. Tate. London. 25 January 2010
Chris Ofili dinner to celebrate the opening of his exhibition. Tate. London. 25 January 2010
Jade’s @afrotwinslondon view No Woman, No Cry by Chris Ofili Tate London
Jade age five, West London girl born and bred, with her parents and little sister Notting Hill Carnival in 1982
Jade age five, West London girl born and bred, with her parents and little sister Notting Hill Carnival in 1982
Will Chris Kaba’s murder be just another black square? Another mother and father grieving for their child, with pain so deep it hurts their souls and every cell in their bodies? As I write this as a mother of three black children I cry. Tears hit the page. It’s like I can physically just feel just one percent of her pain and it hurts my heart, womb & soul. A mother should never have to bury her child, that’s something that is universally understood, and agreed; Chris Kaba’s parents, Prosper Kaba & Helen Nkama, called the Met’s shooting “unjustified and racist” by the Metropolitan Police that are supposed to protect us all. The policeman shot their unarmed son in the head with a gun, not his arm, not his leg to disable him. Why? When was the last time you heard of a white man stopped by the police and shot dead in the head. Dead?
Chris Kaba teh Sullivans London Instagram post
We are the grandchildren of the slaves you couldn't kill
If you are silent about your pain, they'll kill you and say you enjoyed it - Zora Neale Hurtson
Ubuntu - the belief that we are defined by our compassion and kindness towards others

The Metropolitan Police with their Royal Crest on their helmets, have been seemingly above the law for decades, responsible for the killing of so many black men and women in the UK, from Mangrove Nine in the 1970’s, where justice was eventually served, but not without ruining the lives of black and mixed families suffering with pain for generations. The case that this really reminds me of is Mark Duggan, do you remember the case, the discrepancies, the marching, the rioting? London was burning!

We have a hot bubbling cauldron at Boiling Point, that is past the Tipping Point as Malcolm Gladwell discussed in London Lyceum Theatre. This media review with racist undertones hasn’t aged well, and is not how I remember it at all. It was genius; I went to see it with my Dad and my husband in 2008. ‘This is an EMERGENCY’. We currently have more issues than Vogue, and the interweaving threads of Game of Thrones ain’t got nothing on this!

Since HRH Queen Elizabeth II died we have been constantly bombarded with the celebration of her reign; propaganda displayed on every British media channel, blocking out all other news. Social media is going crazy with alternative views from black and white people all around the world – the polar opposite views of people of all colours in Britain are more evident than ever. Chaos theory springs to mind.

There are so many holes in the case, exacerbated by no clear answers by the IOPC (the Independent Office for Police Conduct)” Mr Jefferson Bosela, age 27 Official Representative of the Kaba Family told me today on the phone, he’s Chris Kaba’s older cousin (Chris was age just 24 when murdered), starting his campaign on Instagram since this tragic incident occurred. I have offered my support for the Justice for Chris Kaba Campaign. Unfortunately Mr Bosela has now had to leave his full time job as Head Of Year at a South London High school, sadly leaving his beloved students and teaching career, to manage this campaign full time.

The family have called a second march at 12pm Saturday 17th September outside Scotland Yard to put pressure on the IOPC for the release of the body worn camera footage of the police incident, and aerial footage from the helicopter that was involved in the chase, to the family and a time frame for the IOPC’s investigation. The first ‘Justice for Chris Kaba’ March was a success resulting in the Police officer in question being suspended. So we hope and pray for the family that their demands are met by this Saturday. Obviously it is only right, fair and just. Justice must be served, and all evidence presented in a timely manner. There is already so much distrust within the black community, with the history of Met police. I pray that this is done professionally and with haste, to stop any accusations of tampering with evidence, which has been clearly done in similar cases in decades before in this country. This was meticulously studied at the brilliant 2021 War Inna Babylon Exhibition at the ICA where they presented a new investigation into the killing of Mark Duggan by Forensic Architecture looking at the facts and timeline in great detail, in the Met police’s 2011 Mark Duggan’s case. There was 1.5-second period time analysis which confirmed how he died murdered by the Metropolitan police.

Chris was obviously no saint, neither am I, alas neither is the King of the Royal family or his brother, his past is his past, there are historical facts for people to see. It’s not irrelevant, it’s just part of the complex story. The police do not have the right to shoot an unarmed man in the head and murder him. If the police went around shooting and murdering all criminals, we may not have a royal family. Everyone has the right to justice and a fair trial. An execution does not allow for this. You cannot change your life when you are dead. Personally growing up living in West London, I had quite a few of my teenage friends and acquaintances that have had run-ins with the law, I have myself too. ‘You live and you learn’.  I’ve been to funerals of my friends, of whom ‘lived by the sword, & died by the sword’ I miss them so dearly, such lovely, clever, beautiful, creative souls. We all make choices in our lives that take us down a different path, each decision we make shapes us, and helps us to grow and learn. So yes I will be marching for Chris Kaba, with his Mama & Dada and family, for the love of my beautiful black people, for truth, justice & change. A change that never seems to come, within the plantation system still strong in structure, in all organisations in the UK, a society steeped in institutionalised racism. For justice & civil liberties,  I will always hold my black fist up high. When is a change gonna come?

The constant celebration of The Queen and her Commonwealth legacy and the initial ignoring of Chris Kaba’s murder her, an era that very traumatically reminds many black people of the history of colonialism To be totally out of touch with Black Briton when their legacy is why we are here in the 1st place to rebuild this country after world War II We are tired, exhausted, I do not want to march, again our tired often over worked and under paid, underprivileged human lives due to structural racism, white privilege, culture vultures, white saviour’s only when it suits them?

Black people marching, frustrated, angry, fed up, enough is enough, as my Jamaican Nanny Violet would say “Still the same no ting change!” “If you can’t hear you mus’ feel’ Bipolar Britain. Carry On Britain. The fight for justice Mama Doreen Lawrence OBE Stephen Lawrence add to the recent anniversary of HR Princess Diana’s death/ 9/11/ murder. As a working class person of any colour I’m frightened and scared, and am not looking forward to this long bleak winter after the summer of discontent. Race is a social construct made up by white men to put black people in boxes, we will no longer be silenced. This is my truth or shadow banned by the media. Love, Truth & Justice must prevail for all. God Save HRH The King Charles III  I actually think he needs Meghan now more than ever, with her Jamaican independent Maroon spirit, just like mine! I’ve been writing about this white against black violence since age 9, with my father for a South African apartied project. The Queen enjoyed trips of splendor to South Africa with her family a year prior to apartied ‘officially’ starting in 1948. The Royal Family and this country continuously benefiting from the genocide, blood, sweat, and tears of black and brown people for hundreds of years, with the colonial British Empire, the 54 countries of the Commonwealth constantly being raped and pillaged to keep Queen King and cuntry in wealth, at the sacrifice of black people and their economic wealth and power. It’s been too much for far too long, too hard in every way for black people around the world for too long. A global shift is needed. The tables of time must change now.  These issues are not black or white, they are complex intertwined and affect us all. We must stand together. United we stand divided we fall. All Rise Our Eyes are Open Now!

God save our Black Kings & Queens. Enough is enough.

‘Get up, stand up
Stand up for your right
Get up, stand up
Don’t give up the fight
Get Up Stand Up’

Song by Bob Marley and the Wailers 1973


As this a developing story for the most up to date information please follow @justiceforchriskaba on Instagram.



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