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Natives

Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire
By: Akala
Narrated by: Akala
Length: 10 hrs and 5 mins
Categories: History, Europe
4.9 out of 5 stars (5,441 ratings)

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Summary

A searing modern polemic and Sunday Times best seller 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 audiobook 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.

©2018 Akala (P)2018 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

Critic reviews

"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)

"A history lesson of the kind you should get in school, but don't...This is a searing, thought-provoking book." (Stylist

"A potent combination of autobiography and political history which holds up a mirror to contemporary Britain." (Independent)

What listeners say about Natives

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A Very Interesting and Challenging Listen

Being a big fan of Frankie Boyle I've seen a number of Akala's appearances on his panel style show. I always felt that Akala was able to cut straight to the heart of whatever matter was being discussed and have been a keen follower of him since. This book is both an excellent account of the experiences of a mixed race boy growing up in 80's/90's London as well as a dig deeper in to the Empirical history of England and how that has shaped the nations views on race and colour and how they continue to manifest themselves today. This goes beyond the obvious incidents of racism, such as overt name calling and racially motivated violence and in to the far more damaging and covert world of institutional racism that exists within not only the nations institutions of power but in peoples subconscious thoughts and actions. I always enjoy audiobooks more when read by the author and Akala does a great job of taking you through his book in a lively and passionate manner which certainly adds to the personal accounts raised by the author. I'd highly recommend this, it helped me to understand why racism is such a problem today, where it's roots lie and why it won't just go away if we ignore it. Essential and thought provoking reading/listening for people of all colour and creed.

53 people found this helpful

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Every boy racialised as BAME must take notes

As a young social scientist myself of mixed raced heritage and from a working class background born in 1993 alot of what Akala has said and experienced is shared with myself and also resonates deeply with me. This is the first audibook I have ever listened to in my life. The reason I bought this audio book was because I found akalas music and then after content online and was also showed his works at my university in Cambridge Anglia Ruskin University International ARU by several of our lecturers on numerous different occasions. I have also ordered the hardback copy of natives for Christmas so I have two copies now which is fantastic. If every working class boy in the UK was given this for Christmas then they would be inspired and be able to have foresight on future events and closure on more traumatic past experiences shared by those from the socio demographic backgrounds. Akala is simply amazing and I will endeavour to get my copy of his booked signed as a goal of mine for 2019 big up yourself bigman knowledge is certainly power and there is so much more for us to learn and share.

23 people found this helpful

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  • M
  • 23-07-19

SPECIAL NEEDS CHAPTER. Nothing has changed.

My 10 year afro Caribbean son had his annual report about a month ago. He is on target for everything yet today I found out they want to put him in the special needs class. Not one indication of there being a problem throughout the whole year. My son wants to be headboy the system wants to destroy him. AKALA. Nothing had changed. In fact I would argue the educational system has got worse. A brilliant book. I have both hard copy and Audio. We need more like this.

19 people found this helpful

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Outstanding work by Akala.

Written and read by the brilliant Akala, not a single fault with the book. Tells his story with real history.

16 people found this helpful

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a real eye opener

I am a 25 year old white male who has a mixed raced fiance. this has really opened my eyes and helped me understand black history. also how the media and government controls what they want you to know and how much of an impact they have on the every day persons thoughts. I recommend this book to everyone no matter what race or age.

15 people found this helpful

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Astonishing in every way

I simply cannot recommend this more highly. Being narrated by the author added to my enjoyment, but it is a superbly researched, considered articulate account of race and class - both its history and present situation. Perhaps the highest praise I can offer is that it has inspired me to learn more about aspects of history I was either unaware of or had simply accepted at face value. Having listened to this (and I will listen to it again and possibly also buy the book), I will be far more conscious not just of what I am reading, but who it is authored by and what their perspective and bias might be. Illuminating, accessible, fascinating. Simply the best book I have read/listened to in a long time.

15 people found this helpful

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I couldn't stop listening. Eye-opening and honest.

I was enthralled and educated in areas of human nature and experience that I haven't consciously been exposed to in my 33 years pottering around this ball of rock. The perspective that this book brings is captivating, with humour, sadness and irony dotting the narrative. From start to finish you'll hoping that there's more to come. The only downside of this book is that it wasn't 10 hours longer. Thank you for writing it.

11 people found this helpful

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outstanding

outstanding - worth every minute. great insight and analysis. robust and concise. engaging and though provoking.

9 people found this helpful

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very biased and incomplete but from a different an

The story is told from the point of view of a colored man. There are many aspects of the slave history that are usually not told. However, "facts" are occasionally a bit stretched and bent. Also, the author stresses again and again how unfair he was treated. For example, he mentions it is unfair that afro-Carribean people are associated with violence and then he claims that violence is an integral part of the afro-Carribean culture. Sorry, but if you are proud on your violent culture then you have to live with the consequences. He also mocks the term "black on black crime" as a ridiculous expression. He forgets completely that this is something that came as a reaction that black people demanded less violence from white people against black people when there were mainly black people killing black people. As mentioned above, a violence he claimed to be part of their culture and he seemed to be proud of. There are facts and aspects of the history that add to the overal picture but he forgets to compare the history of black people with that of other supressed cultures such as the chinese railroad workers or the discrimination of women. A lot of self-pitty on behalf of the author.

8 people found this helpful

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Eye Opening

incredible, passionate and concious raising. I really reccomend EVERYONE read this book regardless of your background.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Lamont D
  • 19-09-18

Interesting in parts, but definitely a mixed bag

I found some of Akala's lectures and conversations on YouTube interesting, so I decided to buy the audiobook and listen to what he had to say in a wider context. As.a.black American, I found some of his insights into his background and racial politics in Great Britain fascinating. Parts of his stories echo things I've experienced or seen over here, while others were completely foreign to me (like the idea of a Pan-African Saturday school). And his stories were interesting, even if I disagreed with a few of his conclusions. So why not five stars? Well, he doesn't lack for confidence and seems to have a general inability to see his part in things. He unequivocally asserts things without taking the effort to walk you through his logic, and by the late stages.of the book he is throwing around 'obvious' so much that it is completely grating. And by the final chapter, he is throwing so many concepts around that he can't give any of them air to breathe or room to provide true insight into things. By the last chapters in the book, I had to force myself to listen to the last few chapters without cringing - and I was relieved it was over. A better editor would have helped tremendously. But despite that, it is an interesting book so I'll give it 4 stars.

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  • Daniel
  • 19-02-20

Excellent material

Akala artfully combined historical research with his personal experience growing up in London creating an authentic and educated look at race in the UK. This book is a must recommend, best book I’ve read this year( 1of 6). I cannot wait for the next project to be released. It’s the only book I’ve ever finished and turned over to start again. I really appreciated natives!

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  • nonscelus
  • 19-12-19

Master Class

As per usual, Akala brings his assertive speech and precision to the review of race and empire. Amazing listen and on-point breakdown of hundreds of years of social and economic history.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 16-12-19

Wonderful read!!

I had no idea about the issues blacks in England faced and how similar they are to the issues we face in America. HIGHLY recommend this audible book!

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  • Clair
  • 30-07-20

Insight education

I was blown away by how little I really knew about Slavery and the history of the UK. Thank you for writing this and sharing your experience and knowledge

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  • Anonymous User
  • 21-07-20

insightful

really interesting perspective, good historical facts mixed with personal expieriences and anecdotes. Felt very modern in it's approach, worth it

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  • channah
  • 24-06-20

Outstanding

Very approachable and engaging survey of the topic even for a relative beginner such as myself, grounded in no small part by Akala's choice to share some of his personal history and experiences. I'll admit I was initially disappointed when I couldn't find this title in hard copy or Kindle edition <shakes head at US publishers>, but quickly realized it is a gift to hear his words in his own voice. Thanks, Audible!

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  • Stephanie
  • 23-06-20

Thought-provoking and well researched!

Akala has done an incredible job laying out plainly and clearly the history of some ideas resonant throughout our Western lives. From his personal anecdotes to the vast research employed to create this manuscript, it is a journey with many points of reflection. This is a compelling invitation to navigate one's own ideas of and relationship to state, education, history, and whiteness and offers so much more than that.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 24-05-20

Absolutely brilliant

This book opened my eyes to the untold stories of the other side to black history in the U.K. I lived in London and taught in London school and never once heard these things mentioned in my 10 years of working in a very diverse school in NW10.

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  • Carmen Galloway
  • 22-05-20

All people should read this book!!!

The book is excellent! Akala is genius! I can't wait for his next MASTERPIECE.