The High Desert: Black. Punk. Nowhere.

The High Desert: Black. Punk. Nowhere.

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Author/Contributor(s): Spooner, James
Publisher: Harper
Date: 05/17/2022
Binding: Hardcover
Condition: NEW

A formative coming-of-age graphic memoir by the creator of Afro-punk: a young man's immersive reckoning with identity, racism, clumsy teen love and belonging in an isolated California desert, and a search for salvation and community through punk.

Apple Valley, California, in the late eighties, a thirsty, miserable desert.

Teenage James Spooner hates that he and his mom are back in town after years away. The one silver lining--new school, new you, right? But the few Black kids at school seem to be gangbanging, and the other kids fall on a spectrum of micro-aggressors to future Neo-Nazis. Mixed race, acutely aware of his Blackness, James doesn't know where he fits until he meets Ty, a young Black punk who introduces him to the school outsiders--skaters, unhappy young rebels, caught up in the punk groundswell sweeping the country.

A haircut, a few Sex Pistols, Misfits and Black Flag records later: suddenly, James has friends, romantic prospects, and knows the difference between a bass and a guitar. But this desolate landscape hides brutal, building undercurrents: a classmate overdoses, a friend must prove himself to his white supremacist brother and the local Aryan brotherhood through a show of violence. Everything and everyone are set to collide at one of the year's biggest shows in town...

Weaving in the Black roots of punk rock and a vivid interlude in the thriving eighties DIY and punk scene in New York's East Village, this is the memoir of a budding punk, artist, and activist.