I came home from a phenomenal weekend in New York to stories of commercialism and exploitation; memos from those who took issue with things like non-black photographers documenting black experiences. Medium re-caps pointed at white folks who were at "the cookout" with questionable invitations.
Regardless of the curious hairs on the back of my neck what's more important than anything, is knowing that there is space for droves of unapologetic brown people at peace inside themselves while in the company of others; Hair in every chroma, brown bodies in a myriad of forms exposed in a myriad of ways. Ancestry, support, freedom, enterprise—a dramaless communal mecca.
This being my first Afropunk I'll admit there was a feeling.. A left turn angling the intention of this space into something far past its origin. Something I can't quite put my finger on.
The festival's moniker has diverted from Punk to more performative versions of Afrocentrism—that's clear. Most of it harmlessly impetuous and— "unwoke"— which should not be criminalized.
And though the festival's origin may be disfigured by headlines and an increasingly capitalist attraction quality, the love that black people have for other black people is an everlasting and spiritual affection no matter where its housed. I am ever thankful to CRWN Magazine for trusting me to document alongside so many amazing female muses in support of Strong Black Lead and the fun and fierce upcoming Saana Lathan Film Nappily Ever After.
Here's my documentation of my Saturday in Brooklyn. A parade of black sovereignty and unconditional love as captured by my iPhone.