The BBC has commissioned a new documentary series from BAFTA and MOBO award-winning hip-hop artist, bestselling author and social entrepreneur Akala, entitled Akala: Race, Class and Empire (w/t).
Inspired by his bestselling book, Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire, the series will combine the story of Akala’s own personal journey of self-discovery with an immersive exploration of issues of race, class and empire and how they affect the lives of young people today.
Akala says: “When I was writing Natives, I wanted to try and show how race, class and power dynamics impact the lives of everyday people – these issues affect us all in complicated and chaotic ways, which is why I wanted to contextualise my life and my experiences with the history of Britain and the British Empire that shapes the world we live in today. My ambition is to do something similar with this TV series. This is going to be a bit of an epic journey for me . . . exploring this and fresh ideas further with audiences globally.”
Fiona Campbell, Controller, BBC Three, says: “This landmark series promises to dispel myths and common misconceptions around race, class and empire in a digestible manner. Akala is a huge talent and a proven success in a multitude of areas and I couldn’t be happier that we will be bringing this vital series to the BBC Three audience.”
Nadine Marsh-Edwards of Greenacre Films says: “Amanda and I founded Greenacre with a mission to showcase diverse stories to a global audience – so this truly is a dream project for us. In Natives, Akala wrote with such insight and eloquence about the pervasive impact of race, class and power dynamics on the lives of everyday British people, so we are delighted to be partnering with him and with Immovable on what we believe will be a landmark series.”
Akala’s interviews, encounters, and unique insight will reveal how race, class and power dynamics continue to shape social policy and life opportunities in the UK. He will explore how they impact the daily lives and aspirations of working class and young black British people today.
Akala will meet those at the centre of these experiences and will question experts, policy makers and opinion formers, and will also meet those who are bucking the trend and making positive changes.
Akala: Race, Class and Empire (w/t) was commissioned by Fiona Campbell, Controller BBC Three and Clare Sillery, Head of Commissioning, Documentaries, History and Religion. It is being produced by Akala’s production company Immovable and long-time producing partner Greenacre Films. The Executive Producers are Chanelle Newman of Immovable Limited with Nadine Marsh-Edwards and Amanda Jenks of Greenacre Films. The BBC Commissioning Editor is Carl Callam.
Image © Paul Husband