IMC Library Zine Review: RACE

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    “Breaking Out of Activist Ghettos since 2001,”
the RACE collective is sure to turn quite a few heads within activist
communities across the world. RACE is “a collective of people of
color with revolutionary anti-authoritarian politics. [They] seek to
raise critical questions about race, gender, class, sexuality, age, culture,
and anture and explore how these issues intersect with various
struggles against authority and capital.” Their new zine, simply
entitled “RACE: Revolutionary Anti-Authoritarians of Color,” does
just that. In issue No. 1, you’ll find everything from moving
poetry to an amazing article on race, anarchy, and
punk rock; from a critique of whiteness within social
movements to excerpts from Lorenzo Komboa Ervin’s
“Anarchism and the Black Revolution.”
One of my favorite articles in RACE is a narrative of
anti-authortarian hip hop culture by “Otto Nomous.” In
hir article, Otto Nomous focuses on the attributes of
both the punk rock scenes and underground hip hop
scenes in Los Angeles and Oakland. Though the author
finds some similarities between the two, s/he noticed that
“while being full of politically conscious people, [the underground
hip hop scene] didn’t have a thriving network of disseminating
information or low-cost do-it-yourself projects.” This became the
impetus for the beginnings of Arise, a monthly open mic event
whose proceeds benefit the RACE collective. The creation of such a
political and uplifting venue has transformed the underground hip
hop scene in the Bay area into “a place where a new revolutionary
culture is born.” It is also an inspiring testament to the power of
organizing one’s community in the spirit of creativity and radical
Also featured in RACE is an article by and a biography of
Lorenzo Komboa Ervin. Born in Chattanooga, TN, in 1947, Ervin
took a very active role in the Civil Rights Movement, joining the
NAACP when he was 12, taking part in the sit-in protests against
racial discrimination in 1960, and being court-marshalled for
being an anti-Vietnam war organizer while serving 2 years in the
U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. In the excerpt from his book,
Ervin illustrates why he’s a Black revolutionary, an anti-imperialist,
an anti-racist, a Liberatarian Socialist, an anarcho-syndicalist,
and an anarchist. His powerful words will inspire the
reader to take action. Especially in times like these, it is
encouraging to learn from activists who not only have
fought and won some of the freedoms we enjoy today,
but who continue to fight until ALL peoples are free.
If your interests lie more within the realm of poetry, you
will be blown away by the political prose of El Compay
Nando and Solidad diCosta. “Our New War” mourns
for the state of the world: “This nation color codes its
slaughters / so the cells of sons and daughters / still
remember trails of tears and / homestead harlems, even
as their / mind’s eyes wave at red, white and / blue fighter planes as
they go by — / ‘bye-bye’.” And “Siglo Veintiuno” celebrates our
dream for freedom, “!Pero éste! Año Cero, será nuestro!” (But this
Year Zero will be ours!). Needless to say, I couldn’t put this zine
down, and I venture to say that you’ll also want to read this one
from cover to cover.
For more information on the RACE collective, check out:, and come by the IMC library, find a
comfortable seat, and be prepared to be mesmerized by this amazing
zine. RACE can be found in the “political zines” section of the
IMC zine library.

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