Hollalujah for: POC Zine Project
Growing up, I spent a lot of time cutting my favorite outfits from my mother’s old fashion magazines, writing poems filled with teenage angst, and creating collages out of photographs. At the time, I did not have the language to describe what I was doing. I did not know about the Riot Grrrl movement and I did not know about the people of color who were often erased within the community. All I knew was that I had a lot to say, a lot to feel, and I put those energies into creating something that I could have, something substantial, something that was all my own.
Later, I would find the language for what I was creating. I was creating zines, and that I was part of a history, present, and a future of people who were creating independent publications. Now, I pour over every zine I can find, from zines on feminist parenting to vegan baking. I attended a zine workshop in Amsterdam and taught a group of 17 year old high school girls in Marseille, France about zine culture. Zines are a form of self expression, they can be collaborative, subversive, and activist. When I started studying third wave feminism, zine culture was presented to me as something that was a result of Riot Grrrl culture. I did not know that fellow people of color had been creating zines many years before the Riot Grrrl movement even began. I wanted a zine culture that was inclusive and diverse.
I was lucky enough to discover the POC Zine Project . As their mission states, “POC Zine Project’s mission is to makes ALL zines by POC (People of Color) easy to find, share and distribute. We are an experiment in activism and community through materiality.” POC Zine Project tours the country, archives zines, and provides support to people who create zines as well.
As part of their Legacy Series, POC Zine Project will spotlight zines by people of color from the 1700s to 2000. The first zine in the series, made possible by a collaboration with Firepress is FIRE !! . FIRE!! Devoted to Younger Negro Artists is a 1926 literary magazine with works from Zora Neal Hurston, Langston Hughes, Wallace Thurman, as well as other writers during the Harlem Renaissance.
I look forward to the other works in the Legacy Series, being able to donate to the POC Zine Project, as well as catch them on their tour sometime in the near future.