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In Review: Pauline Black’s Memoir ‘Black by Design’

Life was never going to be easy for an adopted young girl in a white, working class family in Romford.  It was even harder in 1950’s England, when that same girl was born of Anglo-Jewish/Nigerian parents.  She grew up tough though.  Tough enough to face the open racial abuse of her childhood, and tough enough to turn hatred into the driving force that compels much of her artistic work even to this day.

Pauline Black’s memoir takes you through her life with precise detail.  She doesn’t hold back and she tells it as it was… warts and all.  Was she in the right place at the right time?  Or destined to become the driving force of a 2-Tone band that still tours the world -to sell-out audiences, some 40 years on?

Determined, talented but always honest, Pauline’s story is one of survival in the face of adversity.  As a young woman, thrust into the limelight overnight, fronting The Selecter on Top Of The Pops, to a career on stage, screen and radio.  Pauline Black is gracious, open and hard working, but as tough as they come when called upon.

For an old punk like myself, 2-tone was always there.  Fighting in our corner too, at the head of which was Pauline Black, a 2-Tone legend, still there, still fighting in our corner.

Find more on Pauline by visiting and 

Black by Design published by Serpents Tail

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