This blog initially started out as a zine. A zine is a take on the word maga(zine) and is a form of self publishing/Do It Yourself (DIY) culture. In Portland, the zine community is popular. Unfortunately, it tends to be symbolic of the city (white folks), so it can be difficult for zinestors of color to find space, at times. A few years ago, I started workshops for women of color (WOC) who made zines, or wanted to learn more about zines. It turned out to be a pretty successful group. We hosted workshops for five years, becoming well-known in the city. During that time, I connected to brilliant WOC artists/writers. I have also built up a fabulous zine collection.
I’m always looking to add to my stash. So, I was tickled to receive the Contemporary Black Genius Coloring Book, from artist Tazha Williams. This book features beautifully drawn images of folks like Ms. Badu, Kap, and more!
I’d planned to take photos to share, but decided to make it more interesting. So, I created a short video. Then I thought it would be fun to add music. So, I dropped in a tune. Then I thought, some ambience. It started getting a little out of control. Luckily for y’all, I clicked off the editing tool 😉
If you are interested in starting your own collection of art/writings by DIY folks of color, Williams’s book is a great place to start!
Sorry about that y’all. I’ve been a bit neglectful keeping the blog updated. Thank goodness the holidays are over. That was such a stressful time. HAPPY NEW YEAR!! (I hope you got your spoonful of black-eyed peas 🙂 Unfortunately, we are starting 2017 with the inauguration of a President who has made it clear he is anti-people of color/women (don’t be fooled by the celebrities of color who are kissing azz for their own benefit). I encompass both, so Trump will be no ally to me.
It’s more important than ever to support marginalize voices/communities, as these groups will not be able to look to the new administration to align with those who aren’t white, male, and wealthy.
As someone who is a big lover of DIY (Do It Yourself) culture…I urge folks to financially/promote alternative forms of media/activism, as we will need these resources to keep ourselves safe and heard these next four years.
Here are a FEW to connect with:
Black Girl Dangerous: “Amplifying The Voices of Queer & Trans People of Color.”
Black Women’s Blue Print: “Black Women’s Blueprint envisions a world where women and girls of African descent are fully empowered and where gender, race and other disparities are erased.”
Feminist Wire: “The mission of The Feminist Wire is to provide socio-political and cultural critique of anti-feminist, racist, and imperialist politics pervasive in all forms and spaces of private and public lives of individuals globally.”
Brown Recluse Zine Distro:“Zine culture is not white culture. D.I.Y. culture is not white culture. Punk is not inherently white culture. So in the spirit of resistance, in the spirit of visibility and in the spirit of celebrating our cultures and intersectionality: Brown Recluse Zine Distro.”
As folks know, I’m about that zine/self-publishing life. I was pleasantly surprised when a good friend shared she was venturing into DIY (Do It Yourself) work. I know she has always wanted to establish herself with a major publishing company. She said it was I that made her fall in love with small press (yes!) I met Olivia Olivia a few years ago when I organized my city’s first women of color zine symposium. Olivia Olivia was a young woman who let you know she was in the room. We quickly became buddies as we were both foodies at heart. Olivia Olivia writes about her experiences as a Salvadoran author/activist. In her new chapbook “no one remembered your name but i wrote it down” chronicles her time living in Berlin, growing up as an undocumented youth, and the death of a beloved sister.
A great addition to anyone’s zine/small press collection 🙂
I love interesting DIY (Do It Yourself) crowdfunding projects. I came across the Black Feminist Film School Fellowship Fund on Facebook. They are so close to their goal. Support if you can 🙂
“The answer, the vision, the liberation. Black Feminist Film School is an initiation journey that will transform all involved toward love and light. I invite you to join in and support in the ways that make sense for you….Black Feminist Film School Summer Session (bffs Summer Session) will take place June – August 2014. We will be focusing on building skill and practice as Black Feminist storytellers using the filmmaking medium and accompanying art forms. Within the three month session we will cover all phases of filmmaking including research and writing, pre-production, production and post-production.” http://www.alexispauline.com/apgblog/cause-view/support-the-black-feminist-film-school-fellowship-fund/
I have a lot of respect for Dr. Alexis Pauline Gumbs. She’s an amazing young artist/organizer/radical activist. She is also a fellow zinester. I have the SPEAK! CD that she and fellow women of color zinesters created a few years ago. It should be added to folks DIY collection. Check out this great interview with Dr. Gumbs:
I’m a zinester. What’s a zinester? It’s someone who makes zines. What’s a zine? Zine is a take on the word “magazine” it’s a form of DIY self-publishing. I live on the West Coast and zine culture is very popular here. Zines are typically done by younger folks. Those in their early 20’s. So, I’m a nontraditional zinester 🙂 However, all ages can make them. Zines tend to be typically made by marginalized groups whose voices are left out of mainstream media . These folks include: radical women of color, activists/feminists of color, LGBTQ folks of color, anarchists, prison abolitionists, sex workers, etc.
I became a zinester by accident. I needed to do a creative project for a class and a friend suggested I make a zine. I had never heard about zines before. I researched and liked the concept of it. I’ve been part of zine culture ever since. I host workshops for women of color zinesters/DIY publishers as we are still underrepresented in the NW. It’s definitely getting better, though 🙂
The People of Color Zine Project is a great resource if you want to learn more about the history/activism of people of color zinesters/DIY artists.
Check out this fun video on how to make a zine:
I hope you enjoyed this week on DIY projects! Have a great weekend 🙂
I am a proud DIY (Do It Yourself) writer/blogger. I also have much love/respect for other Black women who are DIY artists/writers/entrepreneurs etc. I think this is a great time for Black women. Technology is allowing us to express ourselves, like never before. On a grand scale. We can reach hundreds, thousands, and even millions (!) of folks via blogging, twitter, tumblr, etc. We can use these mediums to tell our stories in our own way.
In honor of Black History Month, this week is all about DIY Black women! 🙂
I came across the YouTube “The State of Black Women in Contemporary Media” on the DIY blog “What About Our Daughters.” The owner is also the founder of “Blogging While Brown,” a social media event.
The roundtable features five fabulous DIY Black women: Issa Rae (creator of “Awkward Black Girl”), Lena Waithe (producer of “Dear White People”), Ashley Blaine (actress/producer), Numa Perrier (writer/director), and Andrea Lewis (actress/singer).