Boyz n the Void
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Table of Contents

Introduction

Africa Has No History:
An Annotation of Anti-Flag's "A Start"

Evidence of Things Unscene:
An Annotation of Propagandhi's "Less Talk, More Rock"

Marching Through the Mosh Pit:
An Annotation of Operation Ivy's "Room Without a Window"

Ace Up My Sleeve:
An Annotation of the Matches' "More Than Local Boys"

Mad Props to Madness:
An Annotation of Bad Religion's "Pity the Dead"

Ever Since I Was a Little Grrrl:
An Annotation of Black Kids' "I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance with You"

To the Edge and Back:
An Annotation of Brand New's "Sic Transit Gloria . . . Glory Fades"

American Idiolect:
An Annotation of Fefe Dobson's "Stupid Little Love Song"

PMA (Positivist* Mental Attitude):
An Annotation of Bad Brains' "Attitude"

Whatever People Say I Am, That's What Omnaut:
An Annotation of Masked Intruder's "Take What I Want"

Acknowledgments
Notes

About the Author

G'Ra Asim is a writer, a musician, and an assistant professor of English at Washington University in St. Louis. He has served as writing director at the African American Policy Forum and as graduate teaching fellow in Columbia's Undergraduate Writing Program. His work has appeared in Slate, Salon, Guernica, The Baffler, and The New Republic. When not writing prose or teaching, he sings, plays bass and writes lyrics for NYC DIY pop punk band babygotbacktalk, who were named one of AfroPunk's "Top 8 Punkest Bands on the Planet Right Now."

Reviews

"Asim's astute social commentary, poignant storytelling, wit, and solid music criticism will appeal to punk and non-punk readers alike."
-Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

"Boyz n the Void is provocative, opinionated, and fun."
-Shelf Awareness

"With Boyz n the Void, [Asim] uses the virtues that have been used against him-his skepticism, shrewdness and liminality-to assert his existence, as a young Black man insisting to be acknowledged in a world that either cannot or refuses to see him."
-The Washington Post

"Like any great mixtape, Asim's compilation is the most personalized of gifts. . . . Written with love, erudition, and the utmost respect, Boyz n the Void is a genuine keepsake."
-Paul Beatty, author of The Sellout

"There are just some voices that stop you cold, as resonances of some familiar brilliance but also of something so original, so compelling that you have no choice but to take notice. G'Ra Asim is one of those voices."
-Mark Anthony Neal, author of Looking for Leroy: Illegible Black Masculinities

"A spellbinding odyssey and a magnificent debut for an exciting young author and thinker."
-Kimberle Williams Crenshaw, cofounder and executive director of the African American Policy Forum

"Full of dopamine hits and heartbreak. You don't want to stop listening, even when it aches. It becomes part of you. These essays are rigorous and tender and funny all at once, charged with humor that doesn't deflect from difficult honesty so much as it takes you deeper into the maze of truth."
-Leslie Jamison, New York Times best-selling author of The Empathy Exams

"A critical ethnography of growing up black and punk in the aughts. Asim strikes a balance between total immersion in the scene and the intimacy of a letter sent between brothers. . . . Boyz n the Void is essential reading for black weirdos, punks of all ages, and those invested in impeccably rendered American history."
-Cyree Jarelle Johnson, author of Slingshot

"Boyz n the Void is many things-an impassioned paean to high-stakes cultural invention, a brutally honest excavation of the twenty-first-century color line, and a work of brotherly love-but it also marks the emergence of an important black artist."
-Chris Lehmann, editor of The New Republic

"Boyz n the Void is the Black punk bildungsroman of your dreams: it's as if Bad Brains had written the smartest book in the world, only better. Asim guides us to the borders of American Blackness and beyond in this debut that's so mesmerizingly smart and so unsparingly honest it will literally rewrite the playlist in your heart."
-Junot Diaz, author of The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

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