I Saw Akala Speak Live — Here’s What I Learned
Recently, I had the privilege of attending a talk by Akala at work. This was part of a series of events organised for Black History Month.
For context, I read Natives (a book by Akala) about 2 years ago. This was my introduction to Black British history and gave me the foundation I needed to read and educate myself more about a big part of the history of the country I now live in.
Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire is a part memoir, part analysis of the interaction (and intersection) between race and class in Britain. The talk I attended was a conversation about race and class in Britain. There was no specific focus on a sub-topic as it was a shorter talk to allow for Q&A.
I have included a few Twitter threads with some enlightening statistics that Akala quoted in his interview. I would really encourage you to take a few minutes to read them.
Some of the main talking points covered below include:
- How does media contribute to perceptions of race and class?
- How does class impact people in comparison to race?
- What can those in the audience (largely in privileged positions) do to help?
Here are a few takeaways:
How does the media contribute to the perceptions of race and class?
Akala spoke on a variety of topics under the umbrella of the media’s negative portrayal of black people.
The thread below, focusing on ‘black-on-black’ violence, is very informative. This covers the main points Akala mentioned in his talk.
He also provided examples of how ‘white-on-white’ violence is never labelled by colour. However, there is always an attempt to racialise crime when committed by black people.