The Sunday Times bestseller in both hardback and paperback

Race and class in the ruins of empire

Shortlisted for the 2019 James Tait Black Biography Prize

Shortlisted for the 2019 Jhalak Prize

 NATIVES by Akala  A searing modern polemic from the BAFTA- and MOBO-award-winning musician and political commentator, Akala. 

From the first time he was stopped and searched as a child, to the day he realised his mum was white, to his first encounters with racist teachers – race and class have shaped Akala’s life and outlook. In this unique book he takes his own experiences and widens them out to look at the social, historical and political factors that have left us where we are today.

Covering everything from the police, education and identity to politics, sexual objectification and the far right, Natives will speak directly to British denial and squeamishness when it comes to confronting issues of race and class that are at the heart of the legacy of Britain’s racialised empire.


‘My book of the year. It’s personal, historical, political, and it speaks to where we are now. This is the book I’ve been waiting for – for years’ Benjamin Zephaniah

‘Akala is … the kind of disruptive, aggressive intellect that a new generation is closely watching’ Afua Hirsch

‘A story of contemporary London’ Madani Younis

‘Part biography, part polemic, this powerful, wide-ranging study picks apart the British myth of meritocracy’ Guardian

‘A potent combination of autobiography and political history which holds up a mirror to contemporary Britain’ Independent

‘Lucid, wide-ranging . . . he challenges cultural assumptions and highlights their consequences’ TLS (Book of the Year)

‘A history lesson of the kind you should get in school but don’t … This is a searing, thought-provoking book’ Stylist


Listen to an extract from the audiobook, read by Akala, here: 

Watch Akala’s guest lecture at Oxford University here


Akala (c) Alexis ChabalaAKALA is a BAFTA and MOBO-award winning hip-hop artist, writer and social entrepreneur, as well as the co-founder of the Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company. With an extensive global touring history, Akala has appeared at festivals both in the UK and internationally, and has led innovative projects in the arts, education and music across the world. He has spoken and written about a wide range of subjects from music and race to youth engagement, British/African-Caribbean culture and the arts for broadcast and print, with lectures for  TEDx and the Oxford Union  that have clocked up over a million views on Youtube. / @akalamusic



Comments are closed.

Two Roads is an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton.
Two Roads is a trademark of Hodder & Stoughton.
© 2011 - 2019 Hodder & Stoughton Limited.
Registered in England and Wales with company number 651692.
Registered address: Carmelite House, 50 Victoria Embankment, London EC4Y 0DZ.

Privacy Notice|Terms & Conditions|Cookie Policy