RE/MX: Video Vaudeville

The Very Black History of Punk Music

"A decent amount of women led the movement—Patti Smith, Joan Jett, Deborah Harry, Siouxsie Sioux—and they all got major recognition," says host Sana Saeed in this 11-minute piece on punk history. "But black or Latino or any other shade of punk? Not really." 

The host then makes the case that "black and brown punks actually pioneered the movement," giving long-overdue credit to punk artists who are often overlooked.  

Case in point, the Detroit band Death adopted a punk style in '73 and recorded songs like this around '74 or '75. Another example, Bad Brains, followed a few years later and helped pioneer the hardcore punk sound alongside acts like Black Flag and Minor Threat. The Al Jazeera-produced video also pays tribute to bands like Pure Hell, Fishbone and X-Ray Spex, the latter group featuring a female singer of Somali and Scottish-Irish heritage. 

"I'm not saying black people created punk rock," says guitarist Sacha Jenkins of The 1865. "I'm saying we are punk rock without even trying."

Check out the clip to learn more. 

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