Posts tagged history

POC Zine Project announces 'Legacy Series': zines by POC from 2000s - 1700s


Kicking off with FIRE!!, POC Zine Project will make zines by people of color created from the 1700s-2000s available to read and share.

In 2014, you will find a legacy zine by a person of color featured on poczineproject.tumblr.com every month. We will share more details in early 2014.


POC Zine Project defines a legacy zine as an independent publication created by a person of color (or group led by POC) during the 1700s - 2000.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines legacy as the following:

: a gift by will especially of money or other personal property : bequest
: something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past <the legacy of the ancient philosophers>

Zines by people of color from the 1700s-2000 tell many stories that weren’t shared by publishers and newspapers of their day. These zines aren’t any less valuable because they weren’t created as a biproduct of the Riot Grrrl movement, or didn’t have sci-fi themes (although some did!).


Riot Grrrl generated a wealth of inspiring and informative zines from the 1990s to today, but that isn’t the only story. In direct response to the erasure that POC have experienced in the retelling and whitewashing of punk, feminist, and indie publishing histories, POC Zine Project will spend 2013 and beyond sharing zines by people of color that tell us more about our roles in these movements and beyond.

POC Zine Project is an experiment in activism and community through materiality. We are for creating new mappings of our consciousness in opposition to institutionalized oppression. 

Through the Legacy Series, we will celebrate the zines that were created by people of color to foster awareness, community, revolution and liberation in all its forms.

Since our access at this time is to legacy zines created in the U.S., that is what the bulk of the initial release will be. POCZP  was founded in the U.S. but that isn’t our focus. We are actively seeking legacy zines created by POC outside the U.S. and will share those as we acquire them.


People of color (men and women) in the U.S. have produced independent publications (zines) since the 1700s. Many of these zines were political in nature, creating cracks in the lens of white supremacy that shaped popular culture.

These zines were new maps to our liberation, countering the negative propaganda of what people of color looked like, thought and were capable of achieving.

We want the world to know about these legacy zines, so we are going to archive and share them to the best of our ability.

We look forward to partnering with distros, academic spaces, libraries, anti-authoritarian collectives, literary journals, bloggers and more to share the Legacy Series. Contact daniela@dcapmedia.com if you are interested in collaborating.


A zine’s influence should not be defined solely by reviewers, subscriber count or the amount of copies in circulation.




Fire!! was an African American literary magazine published in 1926 during the Harlem Renaissance. The publication was started by Wallace ThurmanZora Neale HurstonAaron DouglasJohn P. DavisRichard Bruce NugentGwendolyn BennettLewis Grandison AlexanderCountee Cullen, and Langston Hughes.

Fire!! Magazine was a quarterly literature magazine. Only one expenditure of the magazine appeared, i.e. the expenditure from November 1926. It was driven out mainly in New Yorker quarters the Manhattan, into which it by the artists involved by hand one delivered. Fire!! the language pipe of the recent black generation of the Harlem was Renaissance. The young artists at the age between 20 and 31 were dissatisfied with the established, older leaders of the movement. The original title read Fire!! A Quarterly Devoted to the Younger Negro Artists.


Starting point of Fire!! the famous artist colony was Nigerati Manor in Harlem. Here one came out in the summer 1926 on the idea to bring its own artist magazine. Among the initial members Wallace Thurman, Zora Neal Hurston, Aaron Douglas, John P ranked. Davis, Richard Bruce Nugent, Gwendolyn Bennett and long clay/tone Hughes. Everyone of these authors should contribute with a starting capital of 50 $ for the pressure of the first expenditure. The further expenditures should be financed by proceeds as well as by donations. This magazine should fulfill the following requirements according to the authors however:

  • The magazine should be understood not as documentation about art, but be represented a work of art. In addition much importance was attached to aesthetic aspects, e.g. Quality of the paper, format, etc.
  • The magazine should be exclusively “devoted ton the younger Negro artist”, itself thus exclusively with “recent” topics like e.g. employ. Hughes described the intention of the young authors in its essay The Negro kindist and the Racial Mountain, publishes 1926 in The nation:

Incoming goods of younger Negro artists who create now intend tons of express our individually dark skinned selves without fear or shame. If white people acres pleased incoming goods of acres glad. If they acres emergency, it doesn’t more matt. Incoming goods know incoming goods of acres beautiful. And ugly too. The tom tom cries and the tom tom laughs. If colored people acres pleased incoming goods of acres glad. If they acres emergency, their displeasure doesn’t more matt more either. Incoming goods build our temples for tomorrow, strong as incoming goods know-how, and incoming goods stood for on top OF the mountain, free within ourselves.

  • In addition the magazine should be so put on that it releases the greatest possible scandal with the white and black establishment.

The name of the magazine was selected following a mirror-image ritual by long clay/tone Hughes.


Aaron Douglas made the Covergestaltung, as well as three further designs available.

Richard Bruce Nugent took part with two designs as well as the Kurzgeschichte Smoke, Lilies and Jade.

Wallace Thurman was chief executive publisher and enriched Fire!! with an editorial comment as well as with the KurzgeschichteCordelia the Crude.

Zora Neale Hurston wrote the play Color struck and the Kurzgeschichte Sweat.

Gwendolyn Bennett published a Kurzgeschichte, Wedding Day.

Arthur Huff Fauset contributed the essay Intelligentsia.

The following authors arranged the poem part:

Countee Cullen, Helene Johnson, EDP pool of broadcasting corporations Silvera, Waring Cuney, long clay/tone Hughes, Arna Bontemps and Lewis Alexander.

With 1 $ the magazine was approximately four times as expensive as other magazines Zeit.Das magazine was 48 sides strongly.


Fire!! was the first joint venture of black authors, which came without the money of wealthy white sponsors. This form of the Patronage was far common, with the Machern of Fire!! however

A group of the authors (among other things Thurman and Hughes) created it with only one expenditure to be established as speakers of a generation of young authors up to then.

In addition, it must be said that the main intention of the authors was not reached to frighten i.e. the black establishment in such a manner that it came to a scandal and the expenditure was censored or even forbidden. With this scandal, which e.g. with Carl van Vechtens novel Nigger Heaven occurred, the authors expected a very fast spreading of Fire!! and larger publicity.

Fire!! found only again into the 1970er/80er years attention as new culture and literature theories developed. It was again presented into the 1980er years.



Fire!! was conceived with the notion of expressing the Black experience during the Harlem Renaissance in a modern and realistic fashion, using literature as a vehicle of enlightenment. The authors of this magazine wanted an arena to express the changing attitudes of younger African Americans and used Fire!! to facilitate the exploration of issues in the Black community that were not in the forefront of mainstream African American society such as homosexuality, bisexuality, interracial relationships, promiscuity, prostitution, andcolor prejudice within the Black community itself.

The publication was so named, according to Langston Hughes, “to burn up a lot of the old, dead conventional Negro-white ideas of the past … into a realization of the existence of the younger Negro writers and artists, and provide us with an outlet for publication not available in the limited pages of the small Negro magazines then existing.”.

Ironically, the magazine’s headquarters burned to the ground shortly after releasing its first issue.


Wallace Thurman
Zora Neale Hurston
Langston Hughes
Aaron Douglas
Richard Bruce Nugent
Gwendolyn Bennett
Countee Cullen
Waring Cuney
Arna Bontemps
Helene Johnson
Edward Silvera
Arthur Huff Fauset
Lewis Alexander

(Source: firepress.com)

NEW ZINESTERS: We will still share information about new and upcoming zines by people of color :) Please continue to submit your zines to the archive.

<3 - POC Zine Project