Afropunk was lit.
I’m hoping that this posts spreads awareness on how dope and lit that event is, so that you all can go next year. I’m going to highlight some things that I felt were relevant and important to me.
If you have hate in your heart, then this is not the event for you. If you don’t believe that those in the LGBTQ community deserve love and respect… don’t come to Afropunk. If you are fatphobic or sexist, stay home boo!
This event was created and designed to be as inclusive as possible, and I think they did an amazing job at making everybody feel comfortable.
This was my first trip to Brooklyn and first time in New York since 2000, so arguably speaking, I was nervous as hell. After we landed at JFK and were baited by aggressive cab drivers to pay $100 for an 8-mile ride down the road, me and my home girl Savannah ended up finding a ride to the hotel.
We stayed at a cute scam filled hotel that was in the middle of Williamsburg, which was maybe 1-3 miles away from the Afropunk event itself. Upon checking in to a room that was supposed to have two queen size beds, we ended up staying in a room with 2 twin size beds. (and let me add this bit of information, it was 4 grown ass women in 2 twin ass beds).
I’m not going to speak on the nightlife in Brooklyn simply because I don’t remember it. I remember taking some Hennessy shots with 3 Long Island Ice Teas (that’s a story for another time). However, the clubs up north are cute, even though all the dudes jump around the whole time…. Oh, and me and my friends ran from a toddler sized rat down the road with no shoes on. Let’s move on.
So, it’s finally Saturday, my feet hurt, and now it’s time to go to Afropunk. We go through the VIP line swiftly and professionally, and immediately are welcomed into the event. Initially I was overwhelmed since everybody was fine, and I simply didn’t feel worthy to even be in attendance. The fashion, the makeup, the shoes, the hair, and the aesthetic of the event was so calculated and perfect, and honestly I felt inspired.
The love and support that I felt in the air was so invigorating. There was no ugliness or hate coming from anybody. Everybody came to Afropunk to celebrate their Blackness, and that was it. Being a girl from South Carolina, I was not used to seeing members of the LGBT community able to publicly express themselves in a setting where they were not being harassed. I was not used to seeing trans people being embraced and loved for who they were by complete strangers. I was not used to women and men coming up to me to tell me how fine I was and to just spark up conversation about topics that I felt nobody (besides myself cared about). I realized that I had never lived in a city where complete agape, unconditional love for strangers existed.
We live in a society where masculinity is fragile, people are insecure with themselves, people are jealous, and people are just bored and choose to hate; so, to be in a space where it was nothing but love and tolerance was an amazing feeling.
Also, I want to highlight that there was an organization who were administering HIV tests to festival attendees!!!!
Initially I planned on hearing Princess Nokia perform, however I was in line for Yankee Doodle Dan’s chicken strips and all I could do was hear her from a distance L. Then I got to see my boo Sza who did amazing. She didn’t sing my favorite song, but I refuse to hold it against her….
Most importantly we got to see Solange Piaget Knowles perform, and when I tell you she snatched my braids off my scalp. My obsession with Solange is the fact that sis is a mood. She is one of those performers who focuses on the details of the entire set. She pretty much sang the entire “Seat at the Table” album and then performed some older songs.
I was undeserving.
So to sum the entire weekend up, if you are feeling a tad bit down… Afropunk is the event for you. In this political and racial climate, minorities are literally dying in order fight for our right to live and be free. Personally, I’ve been battling with thoughts of not being smart, pretty, or even good enough as my peers. So I needed to be in an environment that uplifted and inspired me.
So thank you to the organizers, patrons, performers, attendees and whomever else contributed to this event. It was amazing.