BYP100 (Black Youth Project 100) is a collective of young Black activists and organizers who engage in nonviolent direct action, advocate locally and nationally, and learn through radical pro-Black political education. We work through a Black queer feminist lens and fight for justice for all Black people. We believe that no one is free from oppression until the most marginalized within our society are liberated.

In April 2017, a small team of activists in the DC Chapter of BYP100 (BYP100 DC) launched MelaNation Zine, an art zine and blog about Black liberation that elevates the voices of Black folks in the DC metro area. MelaNation consists of creative contributions from local Black artists and writers, and each issue of MelaNation will have a theme related to the fight for justice and liberation for Black communities through a Black queer feminist lens.

BYP100 DC activists and members on the MelaNation team (2017)

New issues of the zine will be released on an approximately quarterly schedule. As of August 2018, there are three issues of MelaNation  – the first issue is about agitating the 45 administration, the second issue is about Black music in the DC area, and our third issue is about family, history, and liberation. The fourth issue of MelaNation is set to be released in late 2018, and is about sex positivity!

The goals of MelaNation are to engage Black folks with political education to resist oppression and to uplift the perspectives and experiences of local Black artists and writers. As Black residents of the DMV experience continued and varying forms of oppression, MelaNation seeks to tap into the resilience of the Black American tradition.  Such resilience relies on the political education and inspiration provided by its members to resist oppression. Through using a Black queer feminist lens to uplift the varying experiences of Black individuals and communities – and by engaging our activism creatively through zines, our blogart workshops, and community events –  MelaNation seeks to mobilize and sustain movement toward a more free and just society.

MelaNation at Zinefest 2017
Two members of the MelaNation team, Jordan DeLoach (left) and Darya Nicol (right) at the 7th Annual DC Zinefest (2017)

As activists with BYP100 DC, the launch of MelaNation represents a significant milestone for us. As we stand on the shoulders of the leaders before us and build towards a more liberated society, our goal is to utilize our gifts and talents to craft a renewed vision of hope for the most marginalized of society. We see MelaNation as a catalyst for liberation in our DMV community and hope that our work can spread light to everyone we reach.