BAFTA winner and social entrepreneur Akala confronted issues of race and class as part of a new book launched at Birmingham City University this evening.

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.

The book launch event took place at Birmingham City University’s Curzon Building on Monday 21 May at 7pm, where Akala was 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 was not born with an opinion of the world but it clearly seemed that the world had an opinion of people like me.”

“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.

Here’s some awesome shots of Akala in Birmingham this evening:

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Akala launches his new book Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire at Birmingham City University in a photo by Ranjit DhillonRanjit Dhillon

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Akala launches his new book Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire at Birmingham City University in a photo by Ranjit DhillonRanjit Dhillon

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Akala launches his new book Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire at Birmingham City University in a photo by Ranjit DhillonRanjit Dhillon

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Akala launches his new book Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire at Birmingham City University in a photo by Ranjit DhillonRanjit Dhillon

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Akala launches his new book Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire at Birmingham City University in a photo by Ranjit DhillonRanjit Dhillon

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Akala launches his new book Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire at Birmingham City University in a photo by Ranjit DhillonRanjit Dhillon

Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire is available to buy here.

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https://www.iambirmingham.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Akala-BBC-800x480.jpghttps://www.iambirmingham.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Akala-BBC-300x180.jpgStaff ReporterBLMBooksBrumFeedCommunityEducationEventsGalleryHistory & HeritageNewsPoliticsRacismShowbizWhat's OnAkala,Art,Artist,Audience,B'ham,BCU,Birmingham,Birmingham City University,Black,black experience,BLM,Book,book launch,Brum,curzon building,Dr Kehinde Andrews,Gallery,Hip Hop,History,Kingslee Daley,Literature,music,My BCU,Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire,Photographs,Photos,Pictures,Politics,Race,Racism,Ranjit Dhillonm gallery,rapper,social studies,students,The Hip Hop Shakespeare Company,UniversityBAFTA winner and social entrepreneur Akala confronted issues of race and class as part of a new book launched at Birmingham City University this evening. '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 latest news, updates and events in Birmingham