I like to make traditions for myself like running the Peachtree Road Race every year ( I missed it this year), or like buying myself a really expensive pair of shoes for Christmas as a treat yourself gift even though you don’t celebrate the holiday. Another tradition I have is going to Afropunk. I went for the first time last year and it was amazing! So many beautiful people and great music and just an overall good time. Originally, I wanted to go to Afropunk Paris but life happens and things don’t go as planned so I was determined to make to Afropunk Brooklyn.
This year my best pal Alyssa came with me and we drove from Atlanta all the way to Brooklyn, New York. It was a interested ride, learned a lot about one another- it was cool. Once we finally reached New York, I couldn’t hold in my excitement. As soon as you get out of the Holland Tunnel, theres this rush of excitement that takes over your body and all of a sudden your mood changes, your energy shifts, its that New York rush that I fucking live for. If you don’t know, I used to live in New York and if I could afford it I would move back in a heart beat, I love everything about the city. I could do what I want when I want and not have to worry about anyone. New York is where I feel at home.
Theres so much I can discuss about our trip as a whole like, the amazing food we ate! Oh my goodness! We spent so much damn money on food it was ridiculous! But lets focus on the topic at hand, Afropunk. Afropunk is a safe place for people of color to be who they really are. There are no boundaries to creation and thats the beautiful thing that keeps me coming. Theres every shade of brown there and every hair texture that you could possibly think of and everyone feels safe. Not only are there incredible fashions and styles but the music was literally amazing. We had the voice of the modern 20 something year old Sza, then MOTHA of goals Solange, the full bodied goddess Nao, the oh so funky and divine Macy Gray( A-FUCKING-MAZING BY THE FUCKING WAY), the hope for the future Willow Smith, Mr. Smooth & cool Anderson Pak and all kinds of other amazing performers that represented us as a whole. They empowered us with their music and allowed us to forget about all that is going on in the world for two days.
Afropunk is a tradition that I am happy that I added to my life. It allows me to escape for a few days to enjoy myself and enjoy everyone around me. Even when we were pushing and shoving one another to get to the front to feel the full impact of Sza’s performance, there was still love in the air. Since we are on the topic of shoving, moving forward, I am only doing VIP for festivals. I have reached a point in my life where I can’t deal with the pushing and shoving and the lines and all the foolishness. I don’t think the people who set up Afropunk were prepared for the massive growth of the festival. There were so many people there and yes it was a beautiful sight to see but being in the mix of all the excitement was a lot to deal with at my old age.
I’m glad that Afropunk caters to all people especially us of color. It doesn’t matter what you are into, you are allowed to be that at Afropunk. This year they had a stage dedicated to our black rockers, and thats love. As a fellow man of color who enjoys a good head banging rock song every now and then, it was pleasant to see others come together to bang heads as one. And thats what makes being black so fucking amazing. There is no typical black person because literally we come in so many different forms. We create our own image, we just do our thing. Its a great time to be black no matter what society is trying to do to us. We are lit. Everything about us is lit. And if you need a reminder of that, and this blog doesn’t do enough reminding for you just attend an Afropunk event, you’ll see how lit we really are.