By Jahneil La Mara

Growing up loving comic books, BYP100 DC’s Jordan DeLoach discussed bringing more creativity into their activism work during a one-on-one meeting with BYP100 DC’s chair Erin Shields. It was then that a small team of BYP100 DC activists began working on an art zine, MelaNation. As a form of resistance, the project focuses on Black liberation and serves as a platform to uplift the voices of Black artists and writers in the DC/Maryland/Virginia (DMV) area.

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“The first issue, ‘agitate the administration,’ turns the angry, frightened, sad, and brave emotions about the Trump Administration into action,” Jordan DeLoach co-director of MelaNation tells ELIXHER. Composed of submitted artwork, poetry, stories and other creative works, MelaNation’s April 2017 debut has the team of activists and local community ready for more.  

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The second issue will explore the legacy of Black music and performance in the DC area.

“For me, the DC area in terms of being a hub for Black music is often overlooked, but there’s so much history and so many things to see and do. One of the things I think of when I think about the legacy of Black music and performance in the area is go-go,” explains Jordan, a Black queer woman. Originated in the Washington, D.C. area, go-go music is a funk subgenre that mixes elements of hip hop, R&B and blues. “Many people equate go-go with crime and violence, but that’s a stereotype rooted in anti-Blackness that ignores how important go-go is to people in the DMV, and to Black culture and fellowship,” continued DeLoach who’s a DMV native.

“The goals of MelaNation are to engage Black folks with political education to resist oppression and to uplift the perspectives and experiences of local Black artists and writers through a Black queer feminist lens,” according to MelaNation’s website. The D.C. based project is anticipating an early July release for their second issue, just in time for the 2017 DC Zinefest where they plan to showcase two published issues.

Visit MelaNation’s website to learn more about the BYP100 DC-sponsored art zine and how to get involved: https://melanationzine.com. You can also follow MelaNation on Instagram at @melanation.zine, and Jordan on Instagram at @spaceortime.

(Photo credit: Deyane Moses of Deyane Moses Studio)

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