ISBN 978-1-935950-05-9 Softcover 6″ x 9″, 240pp Coming September 2012
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.
“We can neither reflectively choose our color identity nor downplay its social significance simply by willing it to be unimportant… but our color no more binds us to send a predetermined group message to our fellow human beings than our language binds us to convey predetermined thoughts.”—Amy Gutmann
“Sometimes I think nothing is simple but the feeling of pain.”—Lester Bangs
I’ll be the first to admit that, like any other book, What Are You Doing Here? is partly self-serving. 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.
"I am different from everybody else because I have always refused to give up that wonderful strange power I have inside me and it becomes manifested when I am in harmonious communication with some other inspired being like myself."
Of characteristic form, the hilt of the dagger has chiseled grips terminating in acanthus leaves showing traces of silver. The base features curvilinear profiling, while the finely-forged blade comes with sinuous edge treatment. The blade also has a bright polished with armor-piercing tip and actively-patterned silver-gray Damascus steel visible in the triangular central panel and flanking pairs of triple fullers on either side.