31, year old, famed radical wordsmith and MOBO winner Akala, has spoken out about black people being misrepresented in the UK.
He says: “In my thirty years of being on this planet, the only television programmes I have ever seen where young black males are the dominant cast, have all been about drug dealing and shooting people. I look around my brethrens and I have a couple of lawyers, a trauma surgeon, a classical composer, an architect, many of whom come from the hood, many of whom come from single parent families, so I look at the reality and how different it is being represented. One of the central arguments of race or white superiority is that black are intelligently inferior and that is still current and that governs our society.”
Ore Olukoga, 20, President of the African Carribean Society in Nottingham agrees with the artist.
He states: “Black youth are constantly misrepresented. A funny thing that people always say is that even though I am a black male I come across as white and I question why is the fact that a black male who is eloquent who dresses well , who speaks well, is now considered as white just because he fits that criteria.”
He continues: “Education is really powerful and the things you are taught and the things you learn from a young age you kind of carry it through your life. ”
Ratna Dutt, Chief Executive of the UK Race and Equality Foundation believes that black communities are being specifically and badly affected by government policies which creates a negative perception of black culture:
“If you look at things like poverty amongst black and other minority groups, levels of unemployment, poor housing, differential health, all of that points to the fact that all of these institutions discriminate.”
She also says: “We have a mental health system which black young men are particularly overrepresented in, a criminal justice system that black people are overrepresented in, school exclusions, why is it that this happens. One can only explain this through looking at how these institutions operate.”
Akala’s tour ended last weekend. Due to the large success of his shows he will be touring the UK again in November hoping to educate more people, through his music, on the universal issue of racism.