For transparency's sake, I didn't grow up learning about Black history, or understanding the nuances of Black culture. I grew up existing in a society that I knew meant me no well, but I had little context. Therefore, my journey of consciousness and all things Black is fairly new. Stepping into adulthood, understanding my Blackness and Blackness in general, neared the top of my list.
Growing up in a small town, it was rare that I saw peaceful mass Black gatherings, so I never understood what a safe space for Blackness looked like or that it even existed. Even in Hyde Park, Chicago, the vibe is amazing, but is unparalleled to that of Brooklyn, and Brooklyn 10.0, AfroPunk Fest.
The feeling of seeing so many Black bodies, able to be their whole selves and unapologetically so, is indescribable. AfroPunk Fest as a space is unlike any other that I've ever seen, there was an abundance of Blackness, blunts and beats. Without the interruption of judgement, discomfort and fear.
For those who are unfamiliar, AfroPunk by their definition, is defining culture by the collective creative actions of the individual and the group. It is a safe place, a blank space to freak out in, to construct a new reality, to live your life as you see fit, while making sense of the world around you. So the festival is the personification of just that, while showcasing up and coming artists alongside some of our favorites like Solange, SZA, Sampha, KAYTRANDA, Sango and Nao. It was a visual festival of self-expression, a place where you could become both informed and involved, and above all, it was a space for #BlackJoy.
If you're Black and have been considering attending, I would definitely put the 2018 Brooklyn AfroPunk Fest on your radar. Below are my favorite photos from this weekend
(I do not own the rights to the below photographs)