PREVIEW: Laina Dawes’s “What Are You Doing Here?”

Exploring what it's like to be black and female in the metal and hardcore scenes


Congrats are in order for our friend and co-conspirator Laina Dawes, she of excellent blog Writing Is Fighting, on the October 23 publication of her book.  From the description:

What Are You Doing Here? investigates how black women musicians and fans navigate the metal, hardcore, and punk music genres that are regularly thought of as inclusive spaces and centered on a community spirit, but fail to block out the race and gender issues that exist in the outside world.

Add to that a great forward by Skin of Skunk Anansie, and you’ve got a book that peels back the layers and offers a previously unexplored look at what it’s like to be black and female in the metal and hardcore scene.  She’s woven in interviews with artists and fans such as Tamar-Kali;  Lisa Kekaula of the Bellrays;  Alexis Brown of Straight Line Stitch; the Black Rock Coalition’s LaRonda Davis and Earl Douglas, to name only a few.  I’m just 30 or so pages in at this point, but it’s also turning out to be a great coming-of-age story about how Laina, adopted at a young age by a white Canadian family, came into her own as a black woman.

You can pre-order directly from her publisher Bazillion Points.

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Rob Fields is the founder and publisher of Bold As Love Magazine. Follow him on Twitter at @robfields.

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