Why Can't Black Kids Play Heavy Metal?

The boys of Unlocking the Truth deserve the right to rock without having their blackness questioned.

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Most important, the generation in which Unlocking the Truth is being raised gives them access to a larger world. Unlike the '80s, the era in which I came of age, the Internet and the plethora of radio and video stations provide immediate access to myriad musical genres. It is common sense that the band members are going to be influenced by music and have friends and interests outside of what is dictated to them based on cultural background. So what's the big deal?

But don't feel too sorry for these kids. As Malcolm says in the video interview, "I don't want to do what everyone else is doing. I want to do my own thing." They are too smart, savvy and talented to let others' opinions deter them from their path. It's the rest of us who have to catch up.

Laina Dawes is a music journalist, photographer and the author of What Are You Doing Here? A Black Woman's Life and Liberation in Heavy Metal. She also runs the blog Writing Is Fighting. 

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