Are Black Women Who Love Heavy Metal Discriminated Against?

blackwomanskrillexLaina Dawes, author of the book “What Are You Doing Here?: A Black Woman’s Life And Liberation In Heavy Metal” (Bazillion Points), appeared Saturday, January 18, on the award-winning news magazine program “16×9” airing on Global Television — Canada’s second most-watched broadcast television network. The episode, titled “Black Metal”, covered women of color in the metal scene and also stars “What Are You Doing Here?” interviewee Militia of New York’s all-female JUDAS PRIEST tribute act JUDAS PRIESTESS. Topics include suffering through harassment at metal shows for being a black woman; tackling ones childhood memories through writing; heavy metal as a life-saver.

“I went to cover METALLICA at [the Air Canada Centre] in 2009 and that was just totally insane,” Laina said. “I had guys making gorilla noises at me when I walked by. I had a couple people call me the ‘N’ word.”

Laina has loved metal since she was a girl, growing up with her white adopted family in Kingston, Ontario, Canada in the 1970s.

“I realized I was different from the time I was five,” she said. “The realization that you are only, the only black person, or only one of a few black people, you always feel like an outsider. So I always felt like I didn’t really belong there. … It was tough and I felt like I didn’t have anyone to talk to.

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