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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Frustrations

I am frustrated! I am so upset that I can not seem to find any scholarships or grants or fellowships to help with grad school for this upcoming fall. I am very discourage right now, about where to find or search for art-related scholarships/free money. I can find so much free money and great opportunities for artist but for art historians, curators or art administrations majors… it’s just non-existent. WTF!!! I will continue to search but this venture is becoming more and more desolate. 😦

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2013 in Art History, Fellowships, Grad School, Writing

 

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Download the What Are You Doing Here? Liberation Sessions, Vol. 1 Musical Compilation

Good read pick it up

What Are You Doing Here?

I’m really excited to announce this amazing (and free) gift! What Are You Doing Here? Joined forces with the Black Rock Coalition to create a compilation of metal/hardcore/punk tracks by Black women to celebrate musical artists who inspiried me to write the book. Featuring neck-breaking tracks by Diary of DestructionThe Family StandGalaxy of TarKudisan KaiMilitiA.The ObjexSaidah Baba TalibahSophia RamosThe Starr Cullars CrewTamar-kaliTetrarch, and Vaja.  You can download the compilation here (Update: You will need a download card in order to do so – stay tuned for info on how to get one)!

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Posted by on April 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Honoring Ancestors at Philadelphia Folklore Project

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Black Gurls Rock!!

I finally finished the piece on my history on being a black female in the metal scene. Below is the first draft. Please make comments for any improvements. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

 

What is it like for me to be apart of the hardcore/metal/punk scene?

It’s complicated…

Music has been apart of my life since I could remember. I feel in love with the rock genre at the age of 10. I was needless to say a “weird” kid. I loved all things that were different and all music… Except country (just can’t get into it).

My “entrance” into the scene was in 1998-1999, when I saw KoRn and Staind on the sic and twisted tour. It was my first concert and I was too excited for words. It was that “new feeling” and I knew I would be changed forever! I went with four black females, my friend from school (who was also a weird black chick) and her two cousins. That concert made me feel less alone and part of a secret world that only few understand. Needless to say, I feel in love with metal and concerts.

As the years progressed, my musical taste evolved to a heavier sound. I craved to see and listen to black people (particularly females) in metal or hardcore genres. Then I discovered Candiria and God Forbid. I was happy to see a speck of color in this genre however, still craved more.

I came of age in a time when there were a lot of black people in the metal scene. I realized that this what not the norm when I branched out from Philly and now I appreciate the small mecca in the metal scene of Philly. At 14, I decided I wanted to start an all black female metal band. After making this decision, I devoted myself to playing music and learning guitar. I didn’t meet my musical soul mate until I was 15 years old. She had green hair, an awesome hippie coat, shiny black combat boots, and was from Harrisburg .. Her name was Chante. When I met her, I knew things would fall into place and it very much did. She had two black girlfriend who were into metal and also musician thus Roullette was made. Although the band was not complete outfitted with all females, it was still an all black metal band.

Discrimination and Undertones of Racism

The name of the band, Roullette, was addressing racism and the music industry. The name suggest, the world, should take a chance on us. I know, cheesy, but it was the early 2000s. It was basically a continuation of the 90s. I never felt true racism in the scene until I started playing music. It felt like you had to prove that you’re a metal-head and prove that you’re a musician. That band was my way of telling the world that black girls can rock too! However, despite the racism, the major problems for black females in the scene is sexism.

The worlds perception of black females are that you are either, overly sexual or the asexual mother/mama figure. There are no in between. In the metal community, this is just the same except its more a perception of beauty and femininity, either you considered a whore or not sexual at all. At shows, it was always a toss-up of are you being protected/respected inside the pit. Some guys look at you, just like any girl and other feel like you are just another dude. Sometimes the pit can be a frightening place. It’s always a question of if I fall we someone pick me up… I wonder if other people of color feel the same way? I think people of color have developed a sense of “feeling out” a show to determine if the pit is going to be a safe and fun place.

As a female musician, it hard to get respect, especially playing heavy music; however, as a black female, I feel like sometimes your skills are dismissed and not appreciated, no matter how talented you are. There are a lot of issues in the scene for black females; however, there are many positive and empowerment features in being apart of the hardcore/punk/metal scene. When I played in the band, I felt strong and empowered. I felt like the baddest bitch in the world and I was not to be disrespected. I believe that metal builds a character that is strong and worthy of respect. I love hip-hop (old school) but in a blink of an eye women were de-valued and uses as pawns. I hope one day this will change, that there will be women of all color respected and represented in all genres.

Final Summations 

I believe that my experience in the metal scene as a black female is complicated. Like life, things are complicated. It took a long time, from the conception of this article, for me to really analyze my experience in this scene. I faced a challenge of explaining something that I am passionate about. I read, What are you Doing Here? A Black Woman’s Life and Liberation in Heavy Metal by Laina Dawes, before writing this very brief history of my metal story. It gave me the courage and direction to complete this piece. Dawes writes a witty, honest, and inspirational book. I recommend people of all colors, backgrounds, etc, to read this book… it really good! I hope that this is a beginning of breaking down barriers for the black female rocker and musician.

 

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Jean Cappadonna Nichols’ Unorthodox Ceramics

I love Sculptures!!! It’s an art form that I completely understand. It can be abstract or completely literal and it still considered art!!! Paintings have always been tricky in that sense. I guess it the critical views of painters verses sculptures. Maybe a survey is to be conducted on who has more merit as an artist? I have not forgot about my piece on black gurls rock! I just been dealing with some kind of writers block, but hoping to complete it today.

Global Art Junkie

jean-barbie-feetThe most recognizable sculpture by the late Jean Cappadonna Nichols is this figurative work, Daydreamer with Botticelli Barbie and Rat Patrol.

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Posted by on April 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Motivations

Trying out a new thing. I downloaded word press app on my phone about two years ago and rarely use it. I am going to start using it more for this blog. I think it will help and motivate me to stay on track. So as the title suggest, my motivation has been an ongoing issue for most of my life. I feel like I can be bogged down due to sudden lacks of interest or laziness. I am trying to work on my flaw/self-motivation, thus the creation of this blog as well as my second blog, leftyknits.

The issue of self-motivation came up when I ran into a friend/colleague who asked about my grad school ambitions. I gave her a brief overview of everything as well as my ambitions to become a curator. However, during our conversation, I couldn’t help but wonder about my efforts on getting funding and starting research. I also began to question my busy schedule with a full-time and part-time job, two active blogs, moving with my boyfriend, and focusing on starting grad school full-time. Have I bitten off too much to chew! A normal person would probably say you’re crazy and need to simplify/prioritize. However, I am not the average person.

I have continued throughout my life to fit into a box or to be more like other people (in regards to education and employment). I always had the notion that I need and want to do something that I was passionate about, one thing. But as I grow wiser (older.. Lol) I have learned that I am passionate about a lot of things and want to explore different things. Another epiphany happened over the course the week and with the conversation. I realize in my quest of getting in… that I don’t have to stay in one box that I can be proficient at many things. I have learned that I accept my sometimes scattered brain, meticulous, over achiever, multi talented, self. I realized that life has no rules and I can choose my own path and determine my own level of what is deemed successful. I know, all this from one conversation. (Really :))

Anyhoo, I am going to continue to push myself and embrace my many passions. Besides my conversation I started a new book (I have not forgotten about my other books… They are packed away and I am not digging for them. Lol) and it’s not art history or fine art related (per say), it’s about my other passion music. The book is called What are you doing here? A Black Woman’s Life and Liberation in Heavy Metal by Laina Dawes. So far this book is awesome. I am glad this book was written. I wish I had something like this growing up. Although the book is good and very well written/researched, doesn’t really live up to my expectations. What I mean by expectation is from a research academic prospective she doesn’t offer anything new as well as in insight on the research out there. My other issue with book is the lumping of genres and the lack of outreach to Black metal females (there are a lot). I feel like she makes her opinions and take research from a very limited pool. But I am only half way through the book and that could all change. So far, I love this book. I definitely recommend picking it up (regardless of race, class, or gender). Before buying this book, I was approached by a fellow black female rocker to write about my experience for a magazine, that she is starting. She is uncertain about whether or not it is going to be regularly syndicated. So of course, I have been procrastinating (probably not a word) and not really focus… Then the book came in the mail and got me excited about writing this piece. I already outline it… Just need to find the words. I plan to work on this piece on Sunday and submit it by Monday  I’ll present the final draft on the blog once it’s done… I think, instead I do a blurb not the whole thing due to the uncertainty.

 

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