Black By Design: A 2-Tone Memoir Paperback – Jun 12 2012
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Gritty, witty and compelling Elle Black paints a vivid portrait of simmering racial tension in Britain after the Second World War ... Intelligent and affecting Independent Stories aplenty ... fascinating Metro The story of a brave, intelligent woman's struggle to make sense of the world around her Mojo --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Pauline Black is a singer and actress who gained fame as the lead singer of seminal 2-tone band The Selecter. The band has recently reformed and in September 2011 releases a new album, 'Made in Britain'.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
At all times the book is very engrossing book and had me hooked from the very beginning. She not only writes about her experiences of being the only person with black skin living in an all-white community, and her experience of being a singer in a rock/reggae band, but also of how she tracked down her birth parents and learned her true identity. At no time does this book get boring. Instead the book is a very honest depiction of race relations and personal relations without being gossipy or judgmental. An excellent read and I highly recommend it.
I have to say that I was 30 years old when the 2-Tone groups came onto the scene in 1980 with their own brand of fast paced Ska. Like all the 2-Tone bands Pauline Black's band `The Selector' was embraced by a large section of British youth at that time. Because of my age I did not really connect with the energy of the music. In view of this I found myself skipping large sections of the book. However, I do acknowledge that `The Selector's music was coming from a real place. I also felt that at a time when the far right was having a resurgence in Britain, the 2-Tone groups were not only a breath of fresh air but were also a counter-balance to the influence of the far right. This is a book written by an intelligent insightful woman that with hard work has managed to live her life on her own terms. However, in my view, the book's appeal is limited to those who have an interest in the 2-Tone groups, or people that are interested in the history of transracial adoption.
Although I'm not into ska music, I learned a lot about its history and even went to YouTube to check out Pauline and her group The Selecter. This book is not only Ms. Black's memoir but an historical look on racial and musical tensions in England during the 50s-70s; musical tensions between muscians and the music industry (MTV era) during the 80s and 90s; and what fascinated me the most, the sociological and emotional view of a mixed raced woman in England during that time. Pauline Black discusses her life fronting a male ska band, her life as an actor and how she felt being being adopted and being black and or mixed raced. It is a great read and will keep you enthralled.