The Sunday Times bestseller


Race and class in the ruins of empire

MAY 2018

NATIVES by Akala NATIVES by Akala 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.


‘Akala is at his best destroying the comfortable myths that are invoked by white fragility to downplay attempts to correct the historical record … the kind of disruptive, aggressive intellect that a new generation is closely watching’ Afua Hirsch

‘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

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

‘A book bristling with intelligence and insight’ Irish Times

‘An essential voice’ New Humanist

Listen to an extract from the Natives audiobook 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

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