Kino Eye: Anti-racism in the 1950s

Submitted by AWL on 27 October, 2020 - 2:33 Author: John Cunningham
Flame in the Streets

While black workers were fighting against the “colour bar” and about a year after the Notting Hill riots, Roy Barker directed Flame in the Streets (1961). Shop Steward Jacko Palmer (John Mills) argues for the rights of Gabriel Gomez (Earl Cameron) a black worker in his factory, but then has to confront his own prejudices when daughter Kathie (Sylvia Simms) falls in love with a black man, Peter Lincoln (Johnny Sekka).

Despite its occasional clunky dialogue, it is a hard-hitting and powerful film. Earl Cameron was one of the prominent early black actors in British film and TV and died only this year. The theatre in Hamilton, Bermuda is named after him. The historian David Olusaga wrote: “Not just a brilliant actor but a link to a deeper history”.

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