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The Louder I Will Sing

4.51  ·  Rating details ·  746 ratings  ·  76 reviews
What would you do if the people you trusted to uphold the law committed a crime against you? Who would you turn to? And how long would you fight them for?

On 28th September 1985, Lee Lawrence's mother Cherry Groce was wrongly shot by police during a raid on her Brixton home. The bullet shattered her spine and she never walked again. In the chaos that followed, 11-year-old L
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 17th 2020 by Sphere
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Average rating 4.51  · 
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Aug 13, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
detailed book detailing the family journey for justice after the shooting of Cherry Groce in a police raid in Brixton 1985 with a before and after the author's mother (Cherry) death and the process of trying to obtain answers and how the police tried to block and the overall ingrained Racism of the system. ...more
thewoollygeek (tea, cake, crochet & books)
I found this book so moving, I knew a little about the case and a bit more about the riots , but this account, the story of Lee and his mother Cherry and everything they went through brings the true face and emotions to the time and events. I learned so much more from this than I ever learnt from school or text books. This is a powerful read, heartbreaking and shows how long the journey towards any kind of justice is, even when still fighting for it. An interesting and moving must read, for your ...more
Jan 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is not an easy read but nor should it be. Lee Lawrence has written not only a powerful memoir but highlighted the institutionalised racism engrained into British society.

Although this book tells of a truly heartbreaking experience, Lawrence's determination for justice and faith in the goodness of people is inspiring.
Phil Aldis
May 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
What an incredible account of a dignified response to a family tragedy. Lee Lawrence fought his family's corner against institutional racism and still had the compassion to try and turn the outcome into a positive contribution to society. ...more
Nov 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: true-stories
A must read!

I felt so many emotions reading this. Mostly I was reeling with anger at just how badly black people are treated in this country. I can’t imagine how frustrating it is to have so many disadvantages and prejudices against you simply because of skin colour, but this book does a great job of giving some perspective.

Lee’s recount of his life growing up in Brixton is so compelling and beautifully told. He has done his mother so proud with this book.
Mar 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, 2021
This one was really, really hard to read.

This is the memoir of Lee Lawrence, and his fight for the police to take accountability following an officer’s unlawful shooting of his unarmed mother, Cherry Grose, in their Brixton home in 1985. She ended up paraplegic and eventually died as a result of her injuries in 2011.

From a medical perspective, reading about Lee’s mum’s deteriorating health, paraplegia, lack of legal aid and the medical malpractice involved made me reflect a lot about my Dad - wh
Lauren Wards
Jun 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021
Part memoir, part reflection on the institutionalised racism of the police force, Lee Lawrence takes us through not only the story of what happened to his mother, but his fight for justice following her death.

It is a fight for justice, but also about giving his mother the opportunity to have a real day in court even after her death. The fact she was mistakenly shot by police looking for someone else draws such parallels with Breonna Taylor in the US. The fact that the Met say their police practi
Christina Giscombe
Inspirational memoir of one man's quest for justice

This is written by Lee Lawrence, the then nine-year-old son of Cherry Groce, who was shot by an armed policeman in front of her children. As well as a crime story, it also works well as an autobiography.

I enjoyed reading about his journey through the various courts, up against snooty judges and posh lawyers. The attitude of the police to black communities is starkly revealed.

The incident set off riot coming as it did after the Brixton riots and
Polly March
I had it in my hands: incontrovertible proof that, over two and a half decades after my mum had been shot by a policeman, his bullet had resulted in the end of her life. The pent-up need for action sat in my throat like a stone that was on fire.

This is the memoir of Lee Lawrence and his fight for the police to take accountability following an officer’s unlawful shooting of his unarmed mother, Cherry Grose, in their Brixton home in 1985. She ended up paraplegic and eventually died in 2011 as a r
Char Furniss
Dec 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Infuriating and distressing but such a valuable read.
Feb 22, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-group
I read this book as part of a race network book club and I experienced so many emotions whilst reading it. Shock, horror, shame, anger and then finally hope. This all happened in my lifetime, in the country where I live, yet I wasn’t aware of it until I read the book.

The work Lee has done to raise awareness and change behaviours is amazing. I am genuinely humbled by his attitude and positivity.
Valerie Simpson
May 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Insightful, interesting and inspiring

Like others before me I could not put this book down. I'm usually a slow reader but I finished it in a day. A 'must read' for all Londoners and recommended for anyone interested in the relationships between the police and the black community. The historical and cultural references are insightful. Seeing another side to Lee's alter ego 'Brandy Lee ' was interesting. Lee's journey and life experiences have truly been inspiring. FIVE STARS all the way.
Katie (readingwithkt)
Oct 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review-copies
"The more you refuse to hear my voice, the louder I will sing."

The Louder I Will Sing tells the story of Lee Lawrence and his family's fight for justice after his mother, Cherry Groce was wrongfully shot during a police raid on their Brixton home on 28th September 1985.

This memoir flits between "Before" and "After" the home invasion, which shattered Cherry Groce's spine, leaving her unable to walk again. It talks about their journey in search of justice and all of the hurdles that they had to ov
rina dunn
Dec 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I always feel a tad awkward/uncomfortable reviewing books that are memoirs/autobiographical, like heres little old me come to share my opinion on what has been your life or at least the experiences that have played a huge part in it. I do try and review fairly though and feel its important to share others stories especially when they are as important as this one.
Firstly and I say it first just incase you don't make it to the end of this review but If I can influence anyone to read a book then i
Louise (Louus_library)
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“Sing loudly enough and one day they will hear you”

On 28th September 1985, Lee Lawrence's mother Cherry Groce was wrongly shot by police during a raid on her Brixton home. The bullet shattered her spine and she never walked again. In the chaos that followed, 11-year-old Lee watched in as the News falsely pronounced his mother dead. In Brixton, already a powder keg because of the deep racism that the community was experiencing, it was the spark needed to trigger two days of rioting that saw build
Feb 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is a heart-breaking and an incredibly moving story of Lee Lawrence's fight for justice for his mother and rest of his family - a fight that took 29 years. He was just 11 when armed police officers broke into his house in South London at 7am and shot his mother, paralysing her from the chest down. This had monumental impact on his life, on his family's life and on his community - leading to 1985 Brixton riots that left many people injured. It's a story about racism in the UK, about grave mis ...more
Lou Barber
Oct 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In 1985, Cherry Groce, mother of six, was shot by an armed policeman following a planned raid. The bullet fragments were shattered into her spine, and she was left paraplegic. Lee Lawrence, her son was 11 at the time, and he lost the vibrant Mum who was always dancing. He also lost his faith in the police, and became her carer, giving up his childhood to care for his beloved Mum.

In 2011, his Mum died. When a doctor requests a post mortem be carried out, this is the start of a long journey to so
Teresa (tqlikesbooks)
On 28th September 1985, Cherry Groce was shot by an armed policeman in her own home. The bullet fragments pressing into her spine were unable to be removed and she was left paraplegic. Her son, Lee Lawrence, was 11 at the time and witnessed the incident.

It was only earlier this year that I had even heard about the Cherry Groce shooting and the resulting Brixton riots of 1985. In the UK, I think we have a tendency to willingly supress incidents of racism and injustice while condemning the same o
Kerry Merritt
Jan 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Cherry Groce loved music, she loved to cook and above all, she loved and cared for her children. Cherry Groce was also shot by police in 1985 in an unnecessary police raid which left her paralysed and ultimately led to her premature death.

In his powerfully moving and heart-breaking memoir, “The Louder I will Sing”, Lee Lawrence tells the story of his family and the lasting impact that this terrible incident had for them. He tells an important story, which shockingly few people are really aware a
Jan 09, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my usual fare and I expected this to be a tough read and much more full of righteous anger and contemporary angst than it actually is.

I'm old enough to remember the Brixton riot of 1985 and the name of Cherry Groce is very familiar to me. But of course I've never known the full story of the police raid and shooting or of Cherry Groce's life subsequently until her death in 2011. Probably nobody has. This memoir by her son Lee Lawrence tells the whole story through from his own childhood unti
Carolyn Drake
Mar 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I can't stop thinking about how Lee Lawrence was just 11 years old when police burst into his home in a catastrophically bungled and inept armed raid and gunned down his mother, leaving her paralysed for life, with her injuries ultimately causing her death decades later. The event sparked the Brixton Riots of 1985. The appalling violence could have easily broken him. But instead, his love for his mother - the music-loving dancer now confined to hospital beds and a wheelchair - saw him care for h ...more
Jan 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is a brilliant memoir by the son of Cherry Groce of his childhood before and after his mum was shot by a Met police officer in 1985 and of his fight for justice after her death in 2011. It is compelling, deeply moving, inspiring and accessible. I read it cover to cover in one afternoon. It is at once an evocative and relatable story of life for kids and teens in the 80s and 90s and a profound study of structural racism in the British police and judicial system. Most of all it is a tribute t ...more
Mar 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This an amazing story about Cherry Groce, the black woman who was shot by the police during a bungled raid in the 1980s. This event spearheaded the Brixton riots. The culmination of continued harassment by the black community by the police in the UK .

Lee powerfully narates her story and the aftermath of these events, the impact on her and her family. Also, the family's fight to get justice.

The title is taken from a Labi Sifre song. When you read this story you can hear Lee's voice. The catalogue
Kate Henderson
Oct 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
I bought this book, not knowing anything about the case. I can't believe I am 30 and did not know anything about this terrible incident its aftermath!!! I think this history should be taught in schools!!!
I found this book heartbreaking, and incredibly fascinating.
Hearing about how hard Lee and the Lawrence family had to work in order to get justice for their mother is shocking!!!
It angered me that this happened at all, and it angered me that I didn't know about the incident in the first place.
Lauren McLachlan
What this family have endured is unimaginable, a phenomenal memoir that can be given no less than 5 stars.
Thieving Magpie
Dec 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
I can't believe I needed over a month to read this book. Normally, I am a very fast reader - but this book... This book is not an easy one to read and if I, as a white person says so, I can't even imagine how a Person of Colour must feel when reading this book.

When we speak of racism, we think of the United States of America. The truth is, racism is not just a problem of the United States, but still present everywhere in the world. This book is a very good example of this.
The book is divided in
Nov 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
I was very fortunate to have went to a talk by the author.

There was something about hearing the story of the shooting from Lee, who experienced it firsthand that made it so real, so emotional. The discussion that ensued also hit me hard. All the stories about different types of injustices and systemic racism experienced by ethnic minorities.

The talk prompted my interest in the book, and I really enjoyed it. It was a very easy read (in terms of speed) but emotionally heavy. Nonetheless, I really
Lu Etchells
Oct 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2020
It struck me that, at the time of her shooting, Cherry was lying on the ground shouting, “I can’t breathe”. Words we have, sadly, heard another individual say only a few months ago. The incident might have been different, as was the country involved; however, it’s clear to see that the underlying issues are pathetically the same.

It’s 35 years since Cherry Groce was shot, and yet as a global society we’re no further along in terms of removing institutional racism. This book not only looks at Cher
Donna Draper
Jun 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Calum Mackenzie ‘R.S Green’
It’s a heart wrenching, eye-opening memoir about institutional racism and is incredibly revealing. It’s honest, tense and full of information regarding things that I didn’t know about the 80s race riots and the Stephen Lawrence Enquiry.

This isn’t an enjoyable book due to the subject matter but neither does that book have a writer’s flair and skill that other memoirs I’ve read have.

It’s definitely recommended but I couldn’t give it 5* as I feel that would be condescending and not judging the boo
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