Finding Divinity in Black Womanhood – The Story of Osun: A Graphic Novel

For the first decade and a half of my life, I did not identify as Black. I grew up in Nigeria, and I had no understanding of the meanings attached to racial differences because I was surrounded by people who looked, more or less, like me. I saw white people (and occasionally Latinx and Asian […]

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Justice for Sadat: Immigration is a Black Issue and a Queer Issue

In January 2016, Sadat Ibrahim fled from his home in Accra, Ghana. Ibrahim had been living for years under the constant threat of imprisonment for being gay due to homophobic criminal laws in his country. After an anti-gay group known for killing queer people strategically targeted and beat Ibrahim, he escaped Ghana in an attempt […]

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“Bag Lady” by Ayaana Marie

The following personal essay was written by Harlem native Ayaana Marie, a storyteller and photographer currently based in DC. “Bag Lady” is published in part in MelaNation’s third issue, “we are family.” The full story is published below.  Explore a moving account of love, mental illness, strength, vulnerability, and Ayaana’s relationship with her grandmother. Bag […]

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#HBCUFutures: Black Education Matters

Before the Civil War, higher education for Black students was virtually nonexistent. The limited number of Black folks who did receive schooling often had to endure hostile circumstances or teach themselves. Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) were created to provide access to higher educational opportunities for many Black people and still play a critical […]

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#UndocuDay: Support Black Undocumented Immigrants

For Black History Month 2018, MelaNation, BYP100, and several other collectives are engaging with #28DaysOfBlackLove – a social media campaign in which each day is devoted to uplifting different Black communities. February 5 is #UndocuDay, a day to discuss and support Black undocumented immigrants. BYP100 DC activist Trinice McNally explains the significance of this below. […]

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#NoNuisance: Stop Criminalizing Our Communities

On Thursday, January 25, 2018, the DC Council held a hearing for Bill 22-189, the “Drug-Related Nuisance Abatement Amendment Act of 2017.” This bill is intended to bring civil penalties “against an owner or a tenant, or both, for a property alleged to be a drug-, firearm-, and prostitution-related nuisance, and to establish a civil […]

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We Will Not Be Silenced: Fighting for Digital Freedom and an Open Internet

A free and open internet is essential for Black people to get information, connect with each other, share joy and culture with one another, and build power to get free. On December 14, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said “eff that” and voted to repeal ‘net neutrality’ – an Obama-era policy that allowed all internet […]

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BYP100 DC Statement of Solidarity with J20 Arrestees

On January 20, 2017, over 200 people were detained, abused, and charged with false felonies while protesting the Trump regime’s inaugural rise to authoritarian rule. Those 200 people are now being used as pawns to prohibit political dissent within a system that regularly signals white terrorism should be the rule of law. Although no BYP100 […]

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Food Apartheid: DC Government Must Invest in Food for DC’s Black Neighborhoods

Your zip code should not determine your life expectancy. However, racial segregation and discrimination have led to a lack of investment in black neighborhoods and profound negative consequences for the health of our communities. Every year, the DC government invests large amounts of money into policing while advocates scramble to get enough funding for affordable […]

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Submit to MelaNation’s Third Issue!

Today, MelaNation launches the call for submissions for our THIRD issue! We hope issue 2’s summer love playlist got you through the wait for another round of dope creative pieces from Black artists in the DMV. This time around we’re focusing on that thing called family. You know, the people you love, but sometimes need […]

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Mama Salone, You Do Not Mourn Alone

(featured image: a coastal view of Freetown, Sierra Leone, photo by David Hond)   Mama Salone, you do not mourn alone.   On Monday, August 14, 2017, a mudslide took place on the outskirts of  Freetown, Sierra Leone in the rural, mountain town of Regent. To date, 499 bodies have been unearthed, 600 people are listed […]

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If White Supremacists Hold a Rally in Your Hood

Black people: we love and we see you. Black organizers and our accomplices are fighting back against the white supremacist, pro-fascist “alt-right, ” including those who descended on Charlottesville, VA this past weekend. Their intent was to violently intimidate those seeking to tear down, once and for all, the state’s monuments to the old (and […]

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MelaNation available at Fantom Comics, Duende District Bookstore!

I got some good news, y’all. Copies of MelaNation’s first and second issues, “agitate the administration” and “the music edition,” are now available at two independent bookstores in DC!   MelaNation issue 1 is now available at Fantom Comics, a comic book shop in DuPont Circle in DC (images courtesy of Fantom Comics)   Fantom […]

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Our time at DC Zinefest (and our second issue is available now!)

Over the weekend, MelaNation had the pleasure of being featured in the 7th annual DC Zinefest. DC Zinefest is annual independent, volunteer-organized event that offers a space for local zine makers and artists to network with their fellow creators and share their work with the DC community. During this year’s DC Zinefest there were more […]

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Our Poetry and Zine-Making Workshop with Girls Rock! DC!

On June 29, 2017, MelaNation and BYP100 DC members Maya Cole and Jordan DeLoach and BYP100 DC Co-Chair Je’Kendria Trahan facilitated poetry and zine-making workshops with campers at Girls Rock! DC. Girls Rock! DC is a music education summer camp that aims to create inclusive and empowering spaces for girls, trans, and non-binary youth in […]

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ELIXHER magazine features MelaNation!

This week, MelaNation was featured on ELIXHER — “a collection of all things queer, culture, and current.” As a GLAAD Media Award nominated website and magazine, ELIXHER centers Black queer women, trans women, and nonbinary people as it aims to inform, uplift, comment, and reflect. Sound a little like BYP100? The magazine interviewed our very own […]

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Join the MelaNation team at DC Zinefest 2017 on July 15!

We gon’ be at DC Zinefest, y’all!  DC Zinefest is an annual event that creates space for zine-makers and other artists and writers to share their work with each other and the DC community. The organizers at DC Zinefest generously provided MelaNation with a grant to table at the seventh annual Zinefest on July 15!  […]

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Zines

Zines (short for “magazine”) are self-published, small circulation booklets that often deal with topics outside of the mainstream. MelaNation is an art zine about Black liberation. Read published issues online. Submit to the zine.

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Now Accepting Submissions for MelaNation’s Second Issue!

MelaNation would be nothing without participation from members in our communities. Thank you to everyone who affirmed and supported the first issue, and so much gratitude to the contributors for sharing their art with the world through MelaNation. We’re excited to keep journeying through MelaNation with y’all. MelaNation’s second issue will be published in Summer 2017, […]

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Darya Nicol, ‘Reflecting On My Melanin”

I grew up altering myself—this feminine body deemed Black— to fit into molds sanctified as worthy enough to please the white misogynist’s gaze. Displeased, I contorted myself despite being born into a lineage of stunning Black Sierra Leonean womyn, each having defied multiple society’s odds to live lives of meaning. To be viewed as a […]

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