BlkGrl at Lincoln Center

It’s mid-winter and finally snowing in NYC, I’m hauling my ass across town after work through sleet-ish snow and 6 inch black pools of drain water. It’s been a minute since we’ve hit up Lincoln Center performances, and I’m especially looking forward to hearing some classical harpsichord.

The performance is a chamber diddy with Accademia Bizantina, a group that prides itself in the use of period instruments that align with the music they perform.

I discovered this special series of chamber music was happening via Instagram, scrolling by the ‘lil ads as they came by. In the ad, there was a harpsichord – at this performance, there was NOT. And of the three pieces they had, two were Mozart! Which should further indicate that a harpsichord should be in play. Consider me bummed.

That was the situation on stage, but the audience was tripping too. I rarely see millennials my age at classical music performances, and because I’m a life long violinist, I’ve been attending such concerts alone since I was 18. Most folks sitting around me are old enough to be my grandparents. I generally don’t mind this, and it’s even fun at times to see how they differ in polite demeanor from other cliques. For example, as I was sitting in the lobby waiting for the seating into the theater to begin, a couple sat next to me on the bench. Drawing in my notebook, I didn’t pay them any mind. Still, after a couple of minutes, the man turned to me and apologized for sitting at such an angle on the bench, that his back was turned away from me and we wouldn’t be able to converse. Converse? In my mind I’m thinking. ‘I don’t even know you, why would we be conversing?’ 👀 But I’ve also experienced this apology by the same demographic at concerts in London as well.

At least they try to be nice, because it’s common for me to be the only Black woman sitting in the entire theater. If there are people of color present, its most often in service positions as employees of the theater. Sometimes the elderly attendees in my row ask me if I’m present as part of a high school scholarship program or some investment into urban youth. I attempt to take a deep breath, smile politely and reply, “Uh, no…I just like classical music.” As my head rages on thinking, ‘Bitch! Obama don’t mean shit around here do he?’



Christina Long Art, #blkgrlswurld , zine , MFA, Chicago

I bought all this media gear over the holiday, thinking I’d start a YouTube show or podcast about metal music…🙄all I’ve managed are a bunch of selfies. We gonna need a serious plan or something to make any real content 🤯



#blkgrlswurld #zine #altblackgirl

NYABF 2018 Recap

Phew! It’s been a minute y’all. In my tradition of doing the most, the zine appeared at NY Art Book Fair during the same week its Creative Director (that’s me) took on a new full time job at Sotheby’s.

The last few weeks since the fair have included catching the flu, navigating a new office in midtown, and enjoying a hop over to London for some R&R.

So what happened at the fair? To sum it up quickly; Black folks turned out 😈

Here at the zine we choose events to table with a lot of care, taking into account whether the opportunity will allow us to expose our publication to youth of color interested in new music.

Meeting new punx of color can be hard to do at major art institutions and museums; so we were happy to meet and chat with fans who’d made an effort to visit the fair in support of #Blkgrlswurld and other PoC artists at the event. 💋 We got to meet several of the social media contributors who submitted selfie photos during our open call for the Photo Issue.

The Photo Issue had its debut! An excellent team effort over the summer to dedicate a full color book to women of color changing alternative music. When we were first invited to this NYABF, we knew #Blkgrlswurld needed to bring the community with us into that space. Black goths and brujas in full effect, celebrating heavy ass music and the lives it saves. The book was well received and we nearly sold out. It also inspired a great interest in our “Don’t Touch My Hair” pins.

And just to add even more drama to the mix, we also made time during the fair to chat with Wilbur Cooper, a journalist for Mic and Vice, about the special talents of Zeal and Ardor. Zeal and Ardor are a European metal band that happened be performing in Brooklyn the same week as the fair. You can catch some of our conversation with Wilbur on

Up next we’ll be sharing what happened during our trip to London this October. Was there metal? Of course there was!



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A Podcast About Zines? Yes!

With my hours long commute in NYC, I am listening to more podcasts now than any other time in my life. Not all podcasts are created equal, it takes some effort to tell a story or provide heavy news in 30+ minutes without me cutting you off for my tailored music playlists.

Lend your ears to this little project we found on Spotify. The Zine Collector 😀

“Hosted by Jaime Nyx from Sea Green Zines, The Zine Collector covers current events and fun things happening in the zineverse as well as other zine-related topics.”

Their latest podcast covers best practices for selling zines online, give it a try!


Visit Us @ The NY Art Book Fair Sept. 21-23

Join us at the NY Art Book Fair where we will be hanging at the Zine tables 😀

We are so excited to present a special Photo Issue of #Blkgrlswurld ZINE during this event, which features 5 amazing WoC in NYC making serious moves in the metal scene.


September 21-23, 2018, Free Entrance

MoMA PS1, Long Island City, Queens

Preview: Thursday, September 20, 6-9pm. Purchase ticket here.
Printed Matter Members receive free entry to the Preview. Please present your membership card at the door. To join as a Member, click here.

Visit the Fair website for full details on exhibitors and special programs





PUNK BLACK Brings the ATL Scene to NYC

We first discovered the PUNK BLACK collective on Instagram a couple years back. Instagram has become a great repository of 15-30 sec clips of underground music captured in real-time from all over the globe. When I saw these little snippets of this Atlanta, Georgia based community moshing and rocking out in Cosplay – I sensed they were on to something heavy, gritty, and real for young folks of color. Each year the collective explores new ways to engage local youth and share an underground truth most people don’t know. More Black and Brown youth in America than you realize love rock music. From punk to death metal, it’s actually a thing. And though thousands of us can’t meet up as often we’d like, when we do, its a beautiful moment of braids flying, hips swaying and faces glowing.

PUNK BLACK (PB) is expanding its reach this summer by presenting an NYC music fest in Brooklyn on August 22, 2018. As Von Phoenix, one of PB’s founders tells it, “We’d like to create a space in NY were PoC can feel at home while doing what they love, as well as plant the seeds for a PB Chapter in New York. Not to mention we want to have fun (maybe, *ahem* get a little sauced) and see some kick ass bands.”

We asked Von about the upcoming NYC event, and how the collective came to be. Check it out.

Who founded the PUNK BLACK collective?

The original founders of PUNK BLACK (PB) are Kharis Ellison – age 26, Arkkade Kult – age 38, Jamee Cornelia- age 25, and myself Von Phoenix – age 28. There are 6 of us in the primary collective not counting contributors.

What inspired you to create Punk Black and the need for more representation in the scene?

I discovered rock music around age 12, and I noticed right away that I didn’t see many People of Color (POC) in main stream bands. Around that time I was still trapped in the notion that Rock music was created by white people, and POC weren’t really fond of it. This of course made me feel even more like the odd man out, and unfortunately fueled my self-hate phase at the time. It wasn’t until I started a band at the end of high school did I realize how bad the lack of representation was on the scene. Being an all Black band we got all kinds of looks, condescending remarks, and general hate.PUNK bLACK QUOTE

Was Cosplay always a part of the Atlanta Punk Scene? The collective seems to fill a need for youth interested in all things alternative, was that a natural progression?

Not that I know of. I definitely know a lot of cosplayers who like punk, and a lot of punk fans who like cosplay/anime/comics. It was a natural progression for us, as most of the collective grew up being influence by anime, and our designs have always been anime influenced.

About Community organizing, was finding space for shows and funding new projects something you had previous experience doing?

Definitely not. We had played a lot of shows before the first PB, but we had never really put on our own show, let alone organize a monthly event.


Photo courtesy of PUNK BLACK

Access to creative space is one of the key barriers for artists in NYC, how was it navigating venues in Atlanta?

When we started in 2015 it was a lot easier to find venues in ATL, but as time goes on it’s getting more and more difficult. We normally like to use a combination of house and DIY venues but as the siege of gentrification intensifies, we lose more venues. Over the last year we’ve luckily found a home base at Union EAV, which has been an awesome help to the movement.

When did you first get the idea to launch an event in NYC and what drew you to this city?

NY has always been one of the places we thought about setting up another chapter of PB, but it was when we were contacted by Mecca Shabazz earlier this year that we realized we could actually make it happen. She’s now our NY event director, and our eyes in New York. New York’s new scene is definitely what drew us to the city. It’s been the birthplace of things like Punx of Color, AfroPunk, and dope ass bands over the years. (Shout out to Shinobi Ninja).

Are there a couple organizations out there you admire? Why do you admire them?

Definitely Southern Fried Queer Pride (SFQP) in Atlanta and Punx of Color in New York. SFQP promotes and features the LGBT art community through events and festivals, and their style and the way they run things is really dope. I’ve been following Punx of Color for a few years now, and though I haven’t been able to make it to an event I can tell that do great work for punks of color. It shows not only in the numbers, but in the reactions of the community they serve. I’ve only seen and heard good things about them, and after speaking with Gayla Brooks I can tell they try to do what’s best for the community as a whole. I think both of these organizations think about the community first, which is one of the hardcore reasons I dig them both as well.

Blk Grl Summer Skincare Tips

Hi Lovelies! Have you ever found yourself combing through the skincare aisle of your local CVS or Walgreens store, unsure of where to start? Maybe you’ve even bought a couple of things only to find your skin breaking out or getting even dryer from these over the counter products.

This post will cover the most common ingredients to avoid when looking for gentle and effective cleansers, moisturizers, and toners that are perfect for humid, sticky, summertime.

From there we will also look at light-wearing summer foundations/BB creams with SPF that are gentle on the skin.

Extra Dry/ Dry Combination Skin

I have some of the most sensitive and dry skin around – I know there must be others out there like me, there must be!

In fact I’m sensitive to the most common ingredients used to alleviate dry skin. These products might not break you out with acne or hives like they have to me, but if you’ve tried a cream or face mask only to discover redness, irritation or dry patches, you might be having a reaction to key ingredients like:

  • Glycerin  (A suspect any time a bottle is labeled “Super Hydrating” or “Extreme Moisture”
  • Aloe Vera
  • Silicone/Silicates
  • Mineral Oil
  • Nutty additives (Almond oil, macadamia oil, sunflower seed oil, etc.)
  • Wheat Germ (Gluten)
  • Acne treatments like benzoyl peroxide / salicylic acid
  • Chemical filter sunscreens with active ingredients like: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate.

There are products on the market that don’t have any of the ingredients listed above, but you’ll have to read every package to confirm. (Sephora clerks only know so much…)

So now that we know what to avoid, what the heck will work on our skin?

Gentle Cleansers

The Avene brand is a good place to start. Based is France with a focus on pure spring water as the active ingredient in most of its products. Avene has helped me restore my skin from months of mistakes in the sun and other allergic reactions.

Dove, Sensitive Skin Bar

Avene, Micellar Lotion Cleanser and Make-up Remover

Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm is a satisfying way to rinse makeup off without drying out my skin.

*Remember to gently pat your skin dry with a clean cloth, and don’t use steaming hot water that expands pores.*

Spring water misting throughout the day helps keep skin hydrated and refreshes your makeup. Of course any brand of spring water works, I often carry bottled spring water in a little mist bottle. 


Clinique’s most gentle toners (1) and (2) are great for T-zone areas in the height of a sweaty, humid summer. Used twice a day with a cotton pad, it will expoliate those shiny areas without drying out the skin.

Clinque 3 Step Toners

Avene, Cleanance MAT. Mattifying Toner (Will bring down shine if you plan to apply make up after moisturizing.)

*Dry skin responds better to liquid based exfoliating blends rather than using face scrubs or brushes that irritate the skin and expand dry patches.*

Moisturizing and SPF Sun Protection

Black girls listen up, protecting your skin from the sun daily can reduce uneven discoloration and dark patches. Learn why mineral filter sunscreens are more gentle.

It’s true, most sunscreens leave a white chalky cast of product on darker skin (caused by its SPF active ingredient, Titanium Dioxide). One way around that is by combining your sunscreen with a smooth moisturizer like Clinique’s Moisture Surge Gel.

Clinique, Dramatically Different™ Hydrating Jelly

Neutrogena Sensitive Skin, Oil-Free Moisturizer

Light, open moisture for the body: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Vaseline Intensive Care Body Lotion, Avocado, Jojoba Oil

BB Creams and Foundations w/ SPF

Summer is dewy makeup season, no point in caking on a bunch of product that will melt off on the subway.

Our fav BB creams this season not only match our caramel complexion, but also feature the safest mineral based sunscreen ingredients. (Seriously if you find yourself breaking out after 1 day in the sun, you’re using the wrong kind of sunscreen.)

Start with a Primer in the T-Zone to help secure the B.B. cream throughout a long day. We use a Cover FX one since majority of our cosmetics come from that brand.

bareMinerals COMPLEXION RESCUE™ Tinted Moisturizer, SPF 30 

Clinique, Super City Block™ BB Liquid Compac SPF 50: Goes to the office with me for after 5pm touch ups as I skip further downtown for evening events in Manhattan.

*Everyone wants you to apply these with your hands but brushes or beauty sponges provide better control.

*Costs: Don’t buy a big bottle of anything before getting a smaller trail version first. You don’t want a $35 bottle of toner sitting around you can’t use.

Bonus Tip: Need a beat face for a special event? You can add a deep translucent setting powder to this routine and a setting spray (or spring water) to secure the look on those hot summer nights.