Brooklyn’s Afro Punk festival held last week

September 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

Neat post from the Colorlines blog on Brooklyn’s Afro-Punk festival:

And, in a way, they were right. Headlining acts like Erykah Badu and Janelle Monaé — a fraction of the nearly two dozen acts present — aren’t exactly the epitome of punk. Badu may talk about being a vegan and a doula, but she’s a Grammy-winning fan favorite. Monae is nearly three years removed from an album about love and androids, but she’s garnered enough critical acclaim to win a slot as a new Cover Girl spokesmodel. Both represent a sort of mainstreaming of an alternative black aesthetic.

And that’s the point. Some of it is basic math: when you get a bunch of outliers together, they become the norm. But what they also do is affirm something that’s been plainly obvious to black folks since the beginning of time: we’re different. There is no living, breathing black monolith. We’re vegans and divas, nerds and cover girls. What Afro-Punk does is remind us that that’s how things are supposed to be.”

Incidentally, I really need to watch Afro-Punk, the documentary that inspired the festival.

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