Nylon, A Most Anticipated Book of the Year
Literary Hub, A Most Anticipated Book of the Year
"A celebratory and inspiring collection." —Alexis Petridis, The Guardian
"The collection’s greatest strength is how it captures the pure joy felt by its contributors while living on the fringes, the integrity they’ve gained from being misunderstood by the white establishment . . . taken together, these works show readers that 'punk' is a commitment to liberation from the tedium of mainstream culture, and a way to demand much more." —Mary Retta, Pitchfork
"A canonizing, bold, and urgent anthology setting a new precedent for Black Punk Lit, created by generations of Black punks—featuring both new voices and those from the not-so-recent past . . . With strong visual elements integrated throughout, this smart, intimate collection is demonstrative of punk by being punk itself: underground, rebellious, aesthetic but not static—working to decenter whiteness by prioritizing other perspectives." —Elise Dumpleton, The Nerd Daily
"Eye-opening . . . Fans of punk rock will enjoy this anthology." —Leah K. Huey, Library Journal
"Engaging and original . . . This is a fresh new collection of captivating writing and interviews about a vital, vibrant music and political scene." —Allison Escoto, Booklist
"With graphics, short stories, poems, lyrics, conversations, commentary, and notes on how capitalism naturally tries to co-opt cultural scenes and how Black punks naturally resist it, the anthology is a cornucopia of righteous resistance, both fun to read and energetically provocative . . . Great reading for punks of every persuasion, who, one hopes, will take it and change the world." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“A testament to the often challenging experience of being an outsider, and the joy of finding a sense of belonging. These are the stories I wish I heard when I was growing up.” —Nabil Ayers, author of My Life in the Sunshine
"I'm slightly angry for being pushed to cry in public many times while reading this book, and for the amount of conversations holding Black Punk Now has sparked. I’ve had as many conversations with strangers outside of this book as I did with those inside of it. Thank you for this work which enables me to see myself, to see my brother. I grew up on music and comics and with a deep feeling of isolation. There is great beauty in the outskirts. The fringe. The edge. And there’s loneliness and questioning of yourself and the world—of how you look, of how you feel, and who you can confide in. Thank you for the hours that I spent inside of this collective work, feeling less alone. Thanks for also making this a relentless read in a soft way." —Jean Grae (The Monarchy)
"When I got the book I jumped into it immediately. Black Punk Now solidifies the idea that even though Alternative Black culture is multifaceted and unique, so many of us have the same story, just told different ways. I will always love reading Black stories but Alternative Black stories hit home differently in a beautiful way. I really loved it, it was a fun read!” —Braxton Marcellous, Zulu, Wise, Shred Bundy
“If you find yourself Black, Punk, Now or anywhere in between on that spectrum, this book is like being handed a survival kit. It is messages in bottles fused into a buoyant life raft, a heart shaped mirror on a compass. It’s x-ray goggles, a sword and a shield. Out of alienation, hard evidence of a global community. I LOVE this book, and am deeply inspired by it and everyone involved in its creation.” —Tunde Adebimpe, TV on the Radio
“Spooner and Terry have brought together voices of an independent Black Punk foundational ethos, celebrating the unassimilable and the defiant—the bold, fearless spirit of artists, musicians, writers, and nonconformists that absolutely refuse to back down to the mainstream of any kind.” —Vernon Reid, Guitarist and Songwriter of Living Colour
“If you're hungry for a richer punk experience, Black Punk Now really satisfies. This crucial new book reveals complex, textured and rebellious stories of Black Punk through a variety of writing styles and illustrations, ranging from comics to film scripts. It includes interviews, photos, essays, short stories and much more. Dig deep into the Black Punk experience and legacy and get more out of punk because If there's no Black in your Punk, then you're missing out!” —Alice Bag, (singer, writer, educator)
“Black Punk Now is a must read, and I am loving every moment of it.” —Xavier Dphrepaulezz, Fantastic Negrito
"Black Punk Now delivers a unique literary experience, full of sociopolitical insights, arresting visuals, and limitless imagination. By turns sharp, rousing, delightful, and electric, this is an anthology to savor." —Dawnie Walton, author of The Final Revival of Opal & Nev
“In Black Punk Now Spooner and Terry have given voice, sound, fury and shape to all things Black and BIPOC punk. Equal parts how-to guide, field manual, and encyclopedic anthology comprising essays, short stories, interviews, memories, and graphic novel panels. From the historical origins of those who paved the way, to those individuals and groups carrying the torch and keeping the flame alive. To have such an emotive, resonant, and necessary resource is as revolutionary as those of us melanated 'outsiders' who defy convention, stereotype, hyphenate ,or box with our very being.”—Justin Warfield, musician and hip hop MC, She Wants Revenge
The experiences of Black people in the punk rock scene are at the center of this eye-opening but uneven anthology of short stories, comics, and essays. Edited by Afropunk Festival cocreator, director, and graphic novelist Spooner (The High Desert: Black. Punk. Nowhere) and novelist Terry (Black Card), this anthology gives readers a view into the chaotic but trenchant genre of punk rock, through the eyes of Black people with connections to it. The strongest portions of the anthology are the comics, illustrations, and essays that offer more personalized views. Highlights include "Punk Family Business" by Bobby Hackney, which tells the story of the creation of the all-Black hard-rock/proto-punk band Death, and "No Whites on the Mic," a panel discussion of why the presence of Black and Brown people is important in the punk rock community. Other essays discuss the intersections of race and queerness. Nonfiction pieces are mixed with short fictional ones, some of which tend to slow down the flow of the book. VERDICT Fans of punk rock will enjoy this anthology. There's much to like despite the shortcomings of some of the fiction pieces.—Leah K. Huey
A multifaceted look, in several genres, at the places where Black people and punk rock meet.
The present subversive and creative collection, write Spooner and Terry, is “a holistic definition of Black punk where every piece stands on level ground.” That level ground comes about in part because of the democratizing ethos of punk rock and its intersections—and punk is nothing but intersectional—in Afro-punk, queer punk, and many other musical and artistic streams. As an interlocutor named Shawna puts it, “I have friends across diasporas,” and those diasporas come together in meaningful, liberated ways to create art, music, zines, poetry, and more. Bobby Hackney Jr., a contributor and a son of a player in the Detroit Black proto-punk band Death, notes, “if you’re doing something that other people don’t understand and you still decide to do it, that’s punk to me.” The scene seems somewhat more segregated today, with fewer white-Black interactions, and then there are the usual musical divisions: Are you a punk if you love P-Funk? Hanif Abdurraqib answers, rightly, “The debate of what does or doesn’t make one ‘punk’ is the least interesting debate that can be had.” With graphics, short stories, poems, lyrics, conversations, commentary, and notes on how capitalism naturally tries to co-opt cultural scenes and how Black punks naturally resist it, the anthology is a cornucopia of righteous resistance, both fun to read and energetically provocative. One has to love any book that calls Creedence Clearwater Revival “this band that cosplayed as a Louisiana band” and includes a playlist daring enough to slot Stanley Clarke’s “Vulcan Princess” alongside songs from such bands as Death, Bad Brains, and Dag Nasty.
Great reading for punks of every persuasion, who, one hopes, will take it and change the world.