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Malik Al Nasir

Malik Al Nasir is an author, poet and academic from Liverpool. His memoir ‘Letters to Gil’ published by William Collins in 2021, is a compelling account of his childhood experiences in a brutal UK Local Authority care system, which at eighteen, left him traumatised, semi-literate, homeless, and destitute. A chance meeting at age eighteen, with poet and civil rights activist Gil Scott-Heron proved life changing, and set him on a path to success.

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Malik Al Nasir

About Malik Al Nasir

Malik spent 27 years – on and off – touring the world with Gil Scott-Heron, interspersed with a five-year stint at sea, where he addressed his literacy issues, through painstakingly self-educating, using poetry as a tool to become literate. Under Gil’s mentoring, Malik went on to college and then graduated from all three of Liverpool’s universities, achieving a BA Hon’s in ‘Geography and Sociology’, a post graduate diploma (PgDip) in ‘Applied Social Research’, and an MA in ‘New Media Production’.

Using the skillset he developed at University, Malik researched his own childhood in care and successfully sued Liverpool City Council, receiving substantial compensation and a public apology from Liverpool’s Lord Mayor after ten years of litigation.

In 2022, Malik was invited to deliver a keynote address at the National Commissioning and Training Conference. ‘In It Together: Commissioning for future children’s health, care, where he used his memoir and his care experience as a case study, to show children’s care service commissioners, the impact of flawed policies upon children in care. Malik also presented his perspectives on the 2022 UK Governments ‘Independent Review of Children’s Social Care’ at a policy makers seminar at The Brigstow Institute,  University of Bristol. Malik stated, ‘I did not write Letters to Gil just because I wanted to sell books, I wrote it to inform policy makers and the public at large, of the systemic failures inherent within the care system, the institutional racism within society, and the extremes that Black kids in particular have to go to, just to survive those oppressive barriers and come out on top, despite the intersectional disadvantages we’re invariably forced face’.

As a person of mixed Afro Caribbean heritage growing up in a predominantly white and often racially hostile environment, Malik sought re-establish his cultural identity, shaped but also curtailed by slavery and colonialism. Malik has traced his ancestry back to Demerara where his father hailed from, and uncovered an astounding story, that sheds new light on forgotten aspects of the true extent Britain’s role in the slave trade. The seismic effect of Malik’s Story when it went viral in 2020, resulted in a scholarship to do a PhD and a two book deal with the William Collins imprint of HarperCollins.

Malik is currently reading for a PhD in history at University of Cambridge on a full ESRC scholarship, and he’s just been awarded the prestigious ‘Sydney Smith Memorial Prize’ for ‘outstanding achievement’ at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge. He is also writing his second book ‘Searching for my slave roots’ as well as his PhD thesis, a case study on his slave owner ancestors, one of Britain’s most powerful kinship mercantile networks, known as ‘Sandbach Tinne & Co.’

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