Race, Class, and Indie Rock Music


No teenager wants to listen to their parents’ music. For Martin Douglas, that music was hip-hop, so he gravitated toward the world of grunge and indie rock.

The only problem: that world is very white, and Douglas is black.

In an astute essay titled “The Only Black Guy at the Indie Rock Show” after a Cocker Spaniels tune, Douglas explores what it was like to be “an outsider among the outsiders”—and what self-segregation along music-genre lines means for our culture at large.