The genesis of punk does not form a clear line, no clear place of origin, no person who could be called the first punk. Still, we have associations, images, bands and people that first come to mind. And of course it's an individual question, but also a structural one.The events of the last few weeks show what should have long been known: Black people are treated differently, are murdered because racist structures allow it, are not heard when they express their pain and anger.In the short documentary “The Very Black History of Punk Music” Sacha Jenkins, the guitarist of The 1865 says: “When you're black, you're always punk rock. You are always a goal. "
Expressing pain and anger, naming social problems as such, being perceived as “different” by the majority of society - that is punk!
So how is it that those images, bands and associations with punk are so common white and are not black? The punk scene is just as predominantly male as white dominated, there were and are many talented people who are black or not male.The structures that need to be questioned and redefined also affect us, especially us, if we understand punk as an anti-racist, rebellious movement. And that means giving people the stage, listening to their anger, celebrating their energy with them, taking their pain seriously.If ours white, male punk icons are allowed to be angry, loud, inflexible and rampaging, we love them exactly for that - why don't we have the same feeling with people who have so many more reasons for anger?The structural problem also became clear when I started to write this text, the research was a lot more difficult than usual.Because even if punk is originally composed of rock and blues, i.e. music genres created by black musicians, the genre of punk on the Internet is over whiteOutlined perspective. This basically means that the music of black people was used as inspiration, was enriched, but the stage was not shared equally with them - after all, there are no fewer black punk bands than white.
So what can be done about this imbalance? First of all, we recommend watching the documentary “Afro-Punk” by James Spooner to learn more about the background. The film was the basis for the festival of the same name, which has since taken place in Brooklyn, Atlanta, London, Paris and Johannesburg and gives black artists a space. Then the next step can be to look at your own playlists, to add to them, to make them more diverse. Just google it a little more specifically or talk to other punk listeners. For example, I also asked a friend, with whom I often talked about music, whether he could recommend black punk bands to me.
Incidentally, he can be seen in the photo, on Instagram his name is narcisseesttimide - follows him for content on analog photography, fashion and politics.
Listening recommendations for you: Death, Bad Brains, Radkey, Ho99o9, Big Joanie, TCIYF, The OBGMS, Black Pantera, Fuck U Pay Us, Rebelmatic, The Txlips, Red Arkade, Pure Hell.