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One of the most challenging chapters to write in my book, What Are You Doing Here? A Black Woman’s Life and Liberation in Heavy Metal, was the one dedicated to both historical and contemporary racism in the metal, hardcore, and punk scenes. In talking to acquaintances during the writing process, I observed lots of eye-rolling, and heard lots of questions along the lines of “Is there really a problem?,” alluding to the idea that perhaps the book might be a creative way to play and capitalize on (even though I’m not sure how one does that) the “Race Card.” Many a straight white man said to me, “Well, I haven’t had a problem. Music has no color,” as a way of trying to dismiss my book and thereby also dismiss countless interviews with those who’ve experienced otherwise.

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