... the other Black experience

Photo Essay: My Punk Rock Youth 1987-1992

Looking through their eyes / it was hard for me to walk / walk / as I judged my walk / as stiff and “white” / and hated myself. / I saw myself / through their eyes / on the / Football field / Basketball court / Baseball diamond / Hell of high-school gym class / stumbling around / in ignorance of the rules / and fear of the hurtling spheres / and I judged myself / a useless faggot.

Words and Photography by Albert M Frank III

(Lubbock, Texas 1986)

I saw myself through their eyes

talking to white kids

and it appeared both

that I hated being black

and that I was better

than those black faces

watching me.

(Hanging with the outsiders. Lubbock 1987)

I saw myself in my

outdated boot-cut jeans

and leather jacket

as a nerd and

a freak.

Something beyond


(The only other black south side punk I knew, Chicago 1988)

I saw my delicate face

and thin limbs

and heard my “proper” talk

and saw myself as

a victim waiting to happen.

(He wound up stealing all my girls)

I saw my thin frame

trying to remain invisible

as I walked the halls

between classes

only to wind up hunched

over a spiral binder

drawing comics, while

the teacher talked on about


(My parents tried to make me them)

Through their eyes

I saw myself walking

stiffly to the stage

in my graduation gown

to the deafening sound

of no applause.

(I tried to make friends with everyone in my dorm. Some were too different.)

And later, through other eyes I saw

my nappy hair and

full lips

set against

the sea of punk rockers

all white.

I saw myself trying to be

punker than them

to camouflage the blackness.

(Winter love, Chicago 1988)

Through their eyes

I saw a strange dreadlocked

black man in an elevator

maybe a rapist

or robber

probably ignorant.

For 40 years I missed

everything that was

right in front of me.

half my life sacrificed

to the beast with a million eyes.

(Proto Emo. Texas Tech 1986)

Views: 3492

Tags: Black, Chicago, Essay, Photo, Punk, Rock, Texas, Youth


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Comment by Casanova Frankenstein on August 3, 2011 at 8:51pm
Thanks man. And hey, Feel free to check out and share the rest of the pictures: HERE
Comment by Kurojira Uzumaki on August 3, 2011 at 8:38pm
I'd put a sinewy arm around y', bub, slide y' a beer (if you drink) and reflect a bit and say - "no matter where you go... there you are!"

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