Laina Dawes

Laina Dawes is the author of What Are You Doing Here? A Black Woman’s Life and Liberation in Heavy Metal (Bazillion Points, 2012). She is also a freelance music and cultural critic and concert photographer. Her writings and photography can be found in the journal Coon Bidness, the anthology, Marooned: The Next Generation of Desert Island Discs and print and online publications and radio programs, such as Flavorwire, MTV Iggy, Bitch magazine, Invisible Oranges, The Wire UK, Noisecreep, NPR, the Toronto Star, Exclaim! Metal Underground.com, Hellbound.ca and CBC Radio. She also runs the blog, Writing is Fighting.

Laina has guest lectured at colleges and universities in Canada and presented at both academic and non-academic conference in Canada and the United States on issues surrounding black feminism, and the intersectionalities between music (rock, metal, hardcore and punk) race, gender and cultural identity. She is currently a graduate student in the Liberal Studies department at The New School for Social Research in New York City. 

 

 

The Subtlety of Kara Walker’s Race and Gender Art is Lost on Some

Earlier this month, artist Kara Walker unveiled her sphinx-like statue “A Subtlety” in Brooklyn. With its oversized vulva made of sugar, it’s not surprising that the statute would be controversial, but it is saddening to see why it’s causing controversy. ...more
I love Walker's work. It is amazing.more

Can Hashtag Activism Inspire Real Life Social and Political Changes?

2013 was a year of anti-racist activism online. Barely a week has gone by in the past couple of months without a race-based meme....more
FeministaJones Thank you FJ for your comment! I follow you on Twitter, so I'm very glad you ...more

Meaningful Gifts For Kwanzaa

Conceived in 1966, Kwanzaa is an African-American holiday, celebrated between December 26 and January 1. The seven days represent seven principles to unite African-American communities. On each day, some families gather to reflect or demonstrate a principle. ...more
Torture crimes of the inventor of Kwaanza: ''Deborah Jones, who once was given the Swahili title ...more

Barneys Racial Profiling Accusations: More Complicated Than an Apology to Jay-Z

On October 29th, the CEO of Barneys apologized for alleged racial profiling at the luxury department store. Mark Lee met with Reverend Al Sharpton at Sharpton’s National Action Headquarters in New York to hold a press conference about the claims that racial profiling was behind the police questioning of two African-Americans after they purchased expensive items....more
Frankly I'm a bit disappointed in Mr. Carter.  Maybe I'm all up in my feelings for no reason but ...more

Transracial and International Adoptions: New Trends, But the Same Questions

There's a growing trend in adoption: African-American children who are being adopted by European families. Reading recent stories in mainstream publications about this trend, as well as transracial adoption issues in North America, I see a lot of questions that never seem to get answered: How does race play into adoption decisions, by both potential adoptive parents and the agencies that work with them?...more
We found an adoption center named ais4 adoption and were delighted at there response and the ...more

Protest Against Punjabi Hip-Hop Artist Reveals Who Gets Sympathy and Who Doesn't

In early August, a Change.org petition was circulated trying to stop a concert featuring Indian hip-hop artist Yo Yo Honey Singh in Toronto. The petition’s creators, a Canada-based Sikh religious organization, argued that his lyrics are too violent and misogynistic for Canadian Punjabi youth....more
I haven't listened to much of his music cause I hate that music anyways. I hate songs with such ...more

The VICE Fashion Spread Brouhaha and Apology: Too Little, Too Late?

On Monday, June 17th, the VICE magazine website published a fashion spread inspired by the suicides of noteworthy female authors. Entitled “Last Words,” the photoessay depicted models dressed in designer clothing reenacting the deaths of writers including Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf and Iris Chang. Included in the brief description accompanying each photo were not only the name, age of when the author when she died -- and also the designers of the clothing and accessories featured in the photos....more
This is appalling - clearly these people have never known someone who has committed suicide or ...more

Assata Shakur First Woman on FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists List: Why Now?

The FBI recently added the first woman, 65-year old Assata Shakur, to its Most Wanted Terrorists list. The addition of Shakur to this infamous list isn’t shocking simply because she is female or black, but because of the timing -- 40 years after her involvement in a police shoot-out....more
I would first and foremost like to say I LOVE lainad, I read many of her stories or blogs. She ...more

Brad Paisley's "Accidental Racism" Song: Sorry About That. Can I Have a Latte?

Have you ever seen or heard something so bad that you thought that it was satire? And then, upon realizing that it’s not satire, you wish it was? On Monday, country singer Brad Paisley released “Accidental Racist,” the first single off his upcoming album, Wheelhouse (out April 9) to mixed -- no, cringe-inducing -- reviews. ...more
@NikkiSalisbury And by the way, there is nothing racist about having a problem with a culture ...more

Adria Richards and Zerlina Maxwell: Black Women Threatened For Speaking Out

In the online world, the sentiment “agree to disagree” doesn’t seem to exist.And sometimes, disagreeing with popular opinion draws threats of rape or death. Among black female bloggers, recent events involving technology expert Adria Richards and political analyst Zerlina Maxwell have sparked a huge discussion about whether black women face disproportionate -- and racialized -- backlash when they voice their opinions....more
Ever since I was little I have received the message that females should keep our mouths shut ...more