Saturday, June 9, 2012

Pauline Black on NPR

This morning, I caught the tail-end of Scott Simon's "Weekend Edition" interview with Pauline Black on NPR regarding her autobiography "Black by Design," which has just been published in the United States (you can hear the entire NPR interview here).

The overarching theme of this book and Pauline's life is her search for identity and belonging. Born to a 17 year-old white British teenager and Nigerian engineering student, she was placed in an orphanage and then adopted into a working-class white family (it turned out that some of her relatives held racist views), and was the only black child in her school (in a larger society that was, how shall I put this, resistant to the realization that England was becoming a multicultural society). Add all this to the fact that she was one of the few female musicians in the 2 Tone revolution...

As someone who was given up for adoption at birth, her book and statement below have great resonance:
"I know [this] probably sounds a little bit like a cliche, but I feel that it's very, very important for every individual on this planet to know where they came from and who they came from," she says. "It just gives you a sense of belonging, and I think that sense of belonging is more profound than probably any of us give it credit for."

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