Doing it themselves
IT’S true that African American punks are the ultimate outsiders [“Outsiders, Not Entirely by Choice,” July 9]. But director James Spooner’s assertion that the D.I.Y. [“do it yourself”] ideals are somehow limited to punk rock and not “embraced” by African American youths is way off. Hip-hop is D.I.Y. personified and fully realized, overflowing with dreamers, visionaries and revolutionaries who’ve recorded tracks, fashioned a distinct -- not mainstream -- look and launched record and fashion labels out of their parents’ garages, a friend’s warehouse or on their kitchen tables. The corporate commercialism of hip-hop may have far exceeded that of punk rock’s, but at their core these two American inventions share a spirit that rises above race, gender and class.