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A Brief Reading Guide to Black Women in Rock, Fans and Performers

A couple of weeks ago, I found myself awake in the middle of the night due to insomnia. While checking my Twitter feed, I came across a link about a punk fan who made her case for why Poly Styrene deserves to be called a hero. After reading the post, I ended up searching for another article I read about why the writer never considered herself a Riot Grrrl. In my insomnia, I ended up searching around for other information about Riot Grrrl to confirm that as a Black woman I actually had not missed out on the “movement.” I ended up with a small library exploring Black women in the scene both as fans and performers. The only exception is the piece on Spitboy’s Michelle Cruz Gonzales, a Chicana drummer, because her story is essential as well. If you’re looking for some readings from the perspectives of Black female rock performers and fans, here is your beginner’s guide. Feel free to add to it.

Alternatives to Alternatives: the Black Grrrls Riot Ignored by Gabby Bess

For Colored Girls Who Considered Black Feminism When Riot Grrrl Wasn’t Enough by e-feminist

The Forgotten Women of Punk: Spitboy’s Michelle Cruz Gonzales on Riot Grrrl, Dystopias, and More by Jes Skolnik

Race and Riot Grrrl: A Retrospective by Diana Le and Samantha Abrev

Sister Outsider Headbanger: On Being a Black Feminist Metalhead by Keidra Chaney

What Is Sista Grrrl’s Riot? Punk Music, Collaboration and Revolution by Emily Perper

Why I Was Never a Riot Grrrl by Laina Dawes

Why Punk Pioneer Poly Styrene Deserves the “Hero” Label by Joe Blevins

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Writer, Womanist, Black Feminist, Editor, Smartass, Podcaster, Curator, Bibliophile, Witch. Available for Hire ;-)

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