I do not have words to describe the pleasure I had listening to this interview. This young man is AMAZING! So, so, so articulate. Once again, my little brother turned me on to something fantastic. Thank you, Maxwell. 🙂
Akala talks about race relations in the UK, focusing on experiences of West Indians (he says Caribbeans – I hate that term :-D) who migrated to England, and their children’s experiences. There’s also a dash of the “myth of meritocracy” thrown in for additional flavor. The story resonated heavily with me – myself a child of West Indian parents who migrated to the US. But the power in his words is not that he discusses racism against blacks; it’s how he shows the oppression of those in power toward those WITHOUT power, regardless of skin color.
He is smart, well-read, honest, funny and transparent. He tells a story about his elementary school teacher enrolling him in the special education track at his school once she realized HOW SMART HE WAS because she couldn’t abide a black person being smarter than white people. He tells this story without rancor, simply saying – she was just operating as her culture and society trained her. Who are you, Akala?
Listen to this. Buy his book. Tell your little people (children) about this rapper / writer / lecturer / Shakespearean theater owner. And then tell them to take two sets of notes (you’ll understand after you listen to the interview).