Michael La Rose

Michael La Rose was born in Trinidad and migrated to London in the early 1960s with his brother and mother. He is a director of New Beacon Books and worked there as the distribution manager for over ten years. He was the second ever Chair of the George Padmore Institute between 2006 and 2016 and is still a trustee of the board. He is a cultural and political activist and was a founder member of the Black Youth Movement, a member of the New Cross Massacre Action Committee, and a member of the organising committee of the International Book Fair of Radical Black and Third World Books.  He was elected vice-chairperson of the Carnival Development Committee (CDC) and was later founder and chairperson of the Association for a Peoples Carnival (APC). He was founder and co-ordinator of the Peoples War Sound System and was band leader and mas designer of the Peoples War Carnival Band for 15 years until it was disbanded in 1998. He is an author, researcher and lecturer on popular culture of the African diaspora. He compiled Mas in Notting Hill: Documents in the Struggle for a Representative and Democratic Carnival 1989/90, Police Carnival 1989 (co-editor), The Gerald Forsyth Story: The lifetime journey of a pan legend in the steelband movement (editor), Carl Gabriel; Carnival artist and contributed to the publications Changing Britannia; Life experiences with Britain and Carnival: A Photographic and Testimonial History of the Notting Hill Carnival edited and with a preface by Margaret Busby. Michael co-edited the young people’s educational publication The History of the Steelband.  He has written many essays and given talks on the popular culture of the African diaspora including the Caribbean Carnival.  He is currently director of Savannah View a cultural and educational promotion organisation. Savannah View in conjunction with others like Dexter Kahn of the Cocoyea mas organisation produced ‘Talk Yuh Talk; Comedy, Kaiso and Pan’ shows and since 2012 the annual ‘Parang with a difference; Pan and Pastelles’. The ‘Kaiso Lime’ season of shows was started in 2014 and occurs between May and November at the Carnival Village, Tabernacle, Notting Hill. He curated the annual ‘We Luv Carnival Screenings’ at the British Film Institute (BFI) as part of the African Odysseys programme from 2013 to 2015. Michael received a ‘life time achievement award’ at the Calabash Awards in 2010. He is currently working on a number of publications. .