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A documentary that explores race identity within the punk scene. More than your everyday, Behind the Music or typical “black history month” documentary this film tackles the hard questions, such as issues of loneliness, exile, inter-racial dating and black power. We follow the lives of four people who have dedicated themselves to the punk rock lifestyle. They find themselves in conflicting situations, living the dual life of a person of color in a mostly white community.

Afro-Punk (James Spooner, 2003) Official page

A 66 minute documentary film directed by James Spooner, exploring race identity within the punk scene across America and abroad. The film focuses on the lives of four people dedicated to the punk rock lifestyle, interspersed with interviews from scores of black punk rockers from all over the US. The interviews cover issues of loneliness, exile, interracial dating, black power, and the dual lives led by people of color in communities that are primarily white.

Afro-Punk features performances by Bad Brains, Tamar-kali, Cipher and Ten Grand. It also contains exclusive interviews by members of Fishbone, 24-7 Spyz, Dead Kennedys, Candiria, Orange 9mm, The Veldt and TV on the Radio, among others. In 2003 the documentary was featured at the American Black Film Festival in South Beach and the Pan African Film & Arts Festival, and won an Official Selection at the Toronto International Film Festival, an Audience Award at the Black Harvest International Film and Video Festival in Chicago, an award for Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking at the Roxbury Film Festival in Boston and an award for Best Documentary at the International Jamerican Film and Music Festival in Jamaica.

You can whatch the documentary here!

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For this revivalist, rock and roll not just for white folks

In the early 1950s, African-American artists like Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Ike Turner and Fats Domino basically invented rock and roll, and into the 1970s, artists such as Sly Stone, Arthur Lee and Jimi Hendrix were still major figures in the genre. But then, silence. The rare, occasional efforts of groups like Living Colour or Fishbone aside, for the past 30-plus years African-Americans have kept a respectful distance from a music form they were instrumental in creating.

“I think it had a lot to do with the civil rights movement, and it had a lot to do with rebellion,” says local singer-guitarist Sebastian Banks. “The civil rights movement was all about rebellion, rebelling against the status quo, and rock and roll was all about rebellion. What happened with our first rebellion? People got shot and killed, and people are still suffering from it. So what are you going to do with the next thing that embodies rebellion? You’re going to shy away from it because it comes with a little too much baggage.” [Read More]