Kevin Harry's 'KH Zine' Is Making HBCU History
This feature is in the March/April Next Wave Issue. Click here to subscribe.
Multihyphenate creative Kevin Harry discusses The Moorland-Spingarn Research Center at Howard University selecting his KH Zine for its archives.
Kevin! I live for KH. Please describe its origins for those unfamiliar with its fabulous pages.
Thank you, Isoul. The first issue of KH was published in September 2014, but the foundation had already been laid. For years, I’d taken photos at all the great New York City festivals like Afropunk, the Puerto Rican Day Parade, the 116th Street Hispanic Festival and more—always events with people of color. I loved taking in the beauty of Black and brown people in a vibrant space. One night, I got a call from a friend who laid down the gauntlet in colorful language: ‘Do something with the pictures NOW!’
And the world sends a collective thanks to the friend and his compelling, colorful language! Did you have a previous love for zines?
Yes! Since the late ’80s, I’ve collected them. These self-published works are interesting because they reflect the artists’ vision in a razor-sharp way. But it was always challenging to find zines that focused on Black people. Each issue of KH is a way to uplift [us].
What standard did you create for your first issue?
You have to follow your own instincts. One of the first questions I asked myself when I finished the debut issue of KH was, ‘Would I buy this?’ The answer was a resounding ‘YES!’
A spread from KH Zine Issue 3 PHOTO BY KEVIN HARRY
KH captures various cultures in a unique way that’s both in-your-face and endearing. It’s not surprising that The Moorland-Spingarn Research Center at Howard University is inducting it into its archives. Congratulations. What will a student in 3000 A.D. looking at KH think about 21st century Blackness?
I hope they see confidence, joy, individuality and a ‘come as you are’ spirit. I enjoy shooting at festivals because people leave their homes on those occasions just as they want the world to see them. They are keenly aware they will be in the midst of big crowds, presenting their authentic selves.
Find issues of KH at khzines.com.
Model Ebonee Davis on the cover of Issue 5. PHOTO BY KEVIN HARRY