YOUR BLACK FRIEND $5, 5½” x 8½”, color printed, 11 pgs.

As an American, I can’t imagine a much more important zine to read right now. At this point in our history, race relations are pretty fucked, to say the least. Ben Passmore’s zine is only eleven pages but hits hard. Your Black Friend is a color comic zine comprised of Passmore’s illustrations of the experiences he has as a black man in America. It’s especially poignant for a lot of white people in the punk and independent music culture who may think we’re past racial issues. Passmore shows how they continue to endure and effect him. He shares his feelings on what he wishes white people understood and what he wishes they’d do and not do. Insensitivity and treating black people as the “other” are exposed throughout these pages. A lot of what Passmore wrote made me sad; other parts made me angry. I remain dumbfounded how white people can be so insensitive to people of other races and cultures and why we continue to act as though we shouldn’t treat people as equals. And even though it’s not the role of people of color to try and educate white people about racism, I’m thankful Passmore has taken the opportunity to use his experience to create a vehicle that I hope will help show white people how we continue to need to be aware of the privilege we have and how we can abuse it. –Kurt Morris (Silver Sprocket, 1057 Valencia St., SF, CA 94110)