book alert: “what are you doing here?”- black women in the metal & punk scenes

August 21, 2012

How exciting is this? AP member Laina Dawes‘ book What Are You Doing Here? A Black Woman’s Life and Liberation in Heavy Metal is coming out in October. The foreword was written by none other than Skin from Skunk Anansie. The book tackles the good, the bad and the ugly sides of being a Black woman in the metal and punk 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.”, Dawes explains.
Keep an eye out for the release, available now as a preorder here.

Table of Contents:

“Introduction – lead up to why the book was created (Dawes wrote an essay on Skunk Anansie’s Stiffed album for the anthology Marooned:The Next Generation of Desert Island Discs in 2007, which inspired her to write this book). 

1. Canadian Steel (about my personal experiences as a black women in metal)

2. Metal Can Save Your Life (or at Least Your Sanity) – Discovery of freedom / liberation in metal, punk, hardcore music

3. We Were Here First – history of black participation in music, from the blues era to punk and metal

4. The ‘Only One’ Syndrome – being the only -or one of a few -black people at a show. Interactions and dynamics  

5. So You Think You’re White? – Criticisms from friends and/or family members in being black in the metal, punk and hardcore scenes 

6. Too Black, Too Metal, and All Woman – Black female sexuality in the metal scene 

7. Not a Whites-Only Scene: Fighting Racism in Metal  

8. Get the Music Business Out Of the Way – Advice to women musicians from music artists, industry workers 

Epilogue – Final comments about the book and interviewees and results from the surveys I distributed during the research phase of the book.”