Words Teneshia Carr
Photographs by Emmanuel Afolabi
Going through life as a minority, one becomes accustomed to feeling like an outsider, of never quite fitting in. So much so, that my first time going to Afropunk I was immediately struck with the feeling of being at home. It was an unfamiliar feeling to have. To feel included entirely and unjudged. I sat in the grass as people danced around me simply celebrating their blackness. Their beautiful black bodies writhing to the music blasting over the speakers as puffs of smoke filled the air. AFROPUNK is a gathering place to listen, learn and play, as the community comes together to see and be seen, to speak loudly and proudly, to resist.
Festival-goers are privy to a one-of-kind experience including art, fashion, food and local artisans selling their wares. With a worldwide presence from Paris to Johannesburg and London, AFROPUNK returns to its roots each year when it makes its way to Commodore Barry Park in Brooklyn.
This year’s theme was The People Resist, a message that “brings together AFROPUNK ideology and the people who support it, in resistance to those that strive to oppress.” Headliners included Erykah Badu, Tyler, The Creator, Miguel and Janelle Monáe. Fantastic Negrito and Jacob Banks also gave standout performances.
Afropunk, the annual celebration in support of unity through music, art, dance, and food personifies the power of the people as a collective.
Janelle Monáe Backstage