Check out this interview with writer Laina Dawes on her new book, What Are You Doing Here?: A Black Woman’s Life and Liberation in Heavy Metal.

Dawes’ story is similar to many of the essays featured in, and submitted to Oddflower, and captures the momentum behind everything featured on this site. Just need to turn the music up louder so that more people can hear the message.

On preconceptions about “black” and “white” musical styles

“In black communities, music is so integral in terms of a storytelling mechanism. Back in the blues era, African-American women were actually able to talk about their hardships and sorrows through music, and be very personal. [The same is true of] hip-hop because it’s also obviously a black-centric music form. When I was in my 20s and hip-hop was coming out, a lot of black people felt that if you listened to hip-hop, that means that you’re really black, that you’re proud of yourself, that you know who you are. So when black people listen to ‘white-centric’ music — which is rock ‘n’ roll, country, heavy metal, punk, hardcore — it’s seen that they are somehow not proud of who they are.”

Read more here.