New book looks at experience of black women in punk, hardcore

Afro Toronto columnist Laina Dawes has written a new book called What Are You Doing Here?: A Black Woman's Life and Liberation in Heavy Metal. Due out in October, the book looks at how black female musicians and fans navigate the metal, hardcore, and punk music scenes. Dawes explained:

I wanted to find other black women like me, metal, hardcore, and punk fans and musicians that were rabid about the music and culture and adamant about asserting their rightful place as black women within those scenes. I wanted to find other women who put aside the cultural baggage that dictates that we must listen to certain musical styles, and simply enjoy the music that influenced us, not just as black women, but as individuals who grew up in an era when, thanks to technology, a large variety of music is accessible and available to everyone. I found many black women and have shared their stories, but I also realize there is still a lot of work to be done.

The book is combines both Dawes own experiences with relevant interviews. It is being published by Brooklyn-based publisher, Bazillion Books. They previously compiled the entirety of the Touch and Go Records 'zine, We Got Power!: Hardcore Punk Scenes From 1980s Southern California and more.

The inclusion (and sadly, exclusion) of women and minorities in punk has been a frequent topic of discussion here at A 2011 documentary also looked at the role of women in punk.