Award-winning hip-hop artist to launch book in Birmingham exploring issues of racism


BAFTA winner and social entrepreneur Akala confronts issues of race and class in a new book being launched at Birmingham City University next week.

'Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire’ sees the MOBO award-winning artist discuss policing, education and politics, exploring issues which he considers are at the heart of the legacy of Britain’s racialised empire.

Black Studies

Birmingham City University

The book launch event takes place at Birmingham City University’s Curzon Building on Monday 21 May at 7pm, where Akala will be joined in conversation by Birmingham City University sociologist Dr Kehinde Andrews, who was instrumental in the recent launch of the University’s Black Studies degree – the first of its kind in Europe.

Published by Two Roads and released on 17 May, the book features commentary from Akala as he reflects on his own life experiences and uses them to look at the social, historical and political factors that have led society to where it is today.

“I did not know what race and class supposedly were but the world taught me very quickly”, added the poet and performer.

When not performing onstage Akala, who has toured with artists including Jay Z and Christina Aguilera, is also known as Kingslee Daley and runs his own record label and The Hip Hop Shakespeare Company, which he founded in 2008 with actor Sir Ian McKellen to offer education programmes for young people.

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