Tobias Taitt never knew his father. But he knew his mother all too well. She killed his uncle when he was three years old, condemning him to spend his early years in a series of bleak children’s homes. As a black youth growing up in 70s Britain, he learnt first-hand that the world could be a cold and uncaring place for a child of the state. But he also learnt to navigate the system. And eventually to fight back against it.
When he discovered life outside the drab institutions that held him, so began a descent into a life of crime. Yet at the same time, a love of literature with all its possibilities grew within him. BLACK is a brutally honest tale of a child’s struggle against overwhelming odds.
Tobias didn’t leave his past behind. Instead, he documented and crafted it. Combined with illustrations by Anthony Smith, the world he inhabited is remembered and revisited here. This graphic novel overflows with reminders of a dark history, not long past. However, this is no misery memoir. Rather, it is a testament to a young man’s struggle – a celebration of his strength and grit in words and pictures.