Natives

Listen to a sample

What to expect

SHORTLISTED FOR THE JAMES TAIT BLACK PRIZE | THE JHALAK PRIZE | THE BREAD AND ROSES AWARD & LONGLISTED FOR THE ORWELL PRIZE FOR POLITICAL WRITING

‘This is the book I’ve been waiting for – for years. It’s personal, historical, political, and it speaks to where we are now’ Benjamin Zephaniah
‘I recommend Natives to everyone’ Candice Carty-Williams

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, Nativesspeaks 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.

Natives is the searing modern polemic and Sunday Times bestseller from the BAFTA and MOBO award-winning musician and political commentator, Akala.

‘The kind of disruptive, aggressive intellect that a new generation is closely watching’ Afua Hirsch, Observer
‘Part biography, part polemic, this powerful, wide-ranging study picks apart the British myth of meritocracy’ David Olusoga, Guardian
‘Inspiring’ Madani Younis, Guardian
‘Lucid, wide-ranging’ John Kerrigan, TLS
‘A potent combination of autobiography and political history which holds up a mirror to contemporary Britain’ Independent
‘Trenchant and highly persuasive’ Metro
‘A history lesson of the kind you should get in school but don’t’ Stylist

Critics Review

  • 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
  • I recommend Natives to everyone

    Candice Carty-Williams, author of QUEENIE
  • Part biography, part polemic, this powerful, wide-ranging study picks apart the British myth of meritocracy

    Guardian
  • Akala is at his best destroying the comfortable myths that are invoked by white fragility to downplay attempts to correct the historical record … Akala makes it clear that he is not brimming with optimism. But reading Natives – witnessing the kind of disruptive, aggressive intellect that a new generation is closely watching – I can’t help but be just that

    Observer
  • What I love about this book is it’s kind of like a testimony, a story of contemporary London. He is like one of the Baldwins or Hooks of our generation, who walks among us, you know? When he theorises, it’s from a place of knowing rather than some distant place up above . . . He is very good at remembering and honouring the experiences that have shaped him, and he applies it in a very real way

    Guardian
  • He is acute on how ideas of race served British global power over centuries, and on the violence at the heart of the imperial project

    Guardian

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