I first met Leroy seven years ago, on a rainy, winter’s evening in Peckham. On being asked if he liked books, his response was: “Nah man, reading’s a long ting!”
Back then, in that group mentoring session in a dilapidated community centre, Leroy’s entrance was memorable. He bopped in as if he had dislocated his pelvis, adorned with all the teenage accoutrements of recalcitrant, faux-macho braggadocio. Visibly in thrall to the pernicious bling culture, he was, for all outward appearances, part of the truculent “You get me, blood?” generation: that tranche of ostensibly marginalised inner-city youth, baseball cap perched…
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