Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Pauline Black opens Essex Book Festival

By Ned Woodbridge

OVER 30 people were entertained tonight by the wonderful Pauline Black, lead singer from the famous Ska band ‘The Selecter’.

Pauline was in Grays Library for the 2013 Essex Book Festival and enthralled her audience with a live reading of passages from her best selling book ‘Black by Design’.

Pauline was adopted by a white family living in Romford in the 1950’s. At this time she was the only black face in the area. With three older white older brothers, it wasn’t until she went to school that she realised she was ‘different’.

Identifying with her black heritage and fusing that with her white working class culture steered her into some interesting dilemmas. Thus she was pivitol in the musical 2-tone movement being formed in the late 70’s with its unique musical identity – with The Selecter being fronted by a strong black woman.

Thurrock people were entertained with her stories of redneck people intimidating the band in Texas at the Southfork Ranch of Dallas fame, as well as funny anecdotes about her working class brothers meeting Vanessa Redgrave and nearly killing off her acting career.

An interesting evenings entertainment with much laughter and some reflection from the audience about the experiences of mixed race people living today in Thurrock.


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