“The day I discovered I was mixed, was the same day I discovered my mum was white.”

Speaking at Southbank’s Being A Man festival, Akala explained that the moment a classmate at his school in Camden called him ‘a Chinese black bastard’, was the first time he was forced to acknowledge that he was mixed-race.


With his mum encouraging him to be educated on his black ancestry, enrolling him in a Saturday school teaching black history, the rapper has become one of the country’s most respected historians, famous for his politically fuelled music.

Speaking on his personal experiences as a mixed-race boy brought up by his white Scottish mother, without his black father in his life, Akala questioned why relationships between black men and white women are more likely to deteriorate than same race relationships.

Considering if this could be because white women are not able to empathise with their partners’ experience of the world as a black man, Akala left his own question unanswered, leaving us hoping that the BAM festival will return next year, if not earlier, for more thought provoking discussions.