Transparency is freedom, so I commit to sharing my story with you.
Afropunk: Afro-punk (sometimes spelled Afro-Punk, Afropunk or AfroPunk) refers to the participation of African Americans and other black people in the punk and alternative music cultures. Afro-punks make up a minority in the North American punk scene (via Wikipedia)
When I first stumbled across this word, it was like, FINALLY. A word that best encapsulates my personality, my style, and my interests! Embarrassingly enough, I used to be that black girl that attempted to volumize the crown of my hair in order to resemble a Scene Kid. But that was never meant to be with 4c curl pattern. I was the black girl that listened to The Used, Taking Back Sunday, and Fall Out Boy. I was the black girl who was incredibly uncomfortable with my musical tastes being sniffed out by a fellow black person who would shoot me a quizzical look because what I listened to was, “white music”. If I wasn’t popping to Laffy Taffy or whinin’ to a T-pain ballad, I didn’t qualify as black enough.
BUT my oh my how the times have changed and how pleased I am with the change. Realizing that there is a community of black people who hold the same interests as me makes me happy enough to hug every stranger I see (and that says alot coming from an introverted city girl). It’s just so refreshing! It’s not just that they are black people who like punk/rock/indie, they are a group of melanated people who love those genres while also embracing and remaining true to the the black/African aesthetic. That means Afros and septum piercings. Dashikis and studded black biker boots. Head wraps and velvet chokers. This is one of the main reasons why I view fashion as more than just pretty clothing. I have the ability to take a political stance through what I wear. I have the ability to preface you on what I’m going to be about before you even speak to me. I can defy your preconceived notions about whatever you think about Blacks, Africans, labels, music etc etc. I take this form of communication quite seriously.
As I grow well into my 20s, I’ve grown to embrace my coily texture, African American history, and African ancestry in the social and musical arena. I’ve just learned to stay affirmed in my black identity as a whole. I’ve come to accept that I can love Afrobeats, Hip Hop and Indie Rock all at the same time. I’ve learned to enjoy the flexibility of knowing how to Azonto pretty decently in one space and headbanging to a Foo Fighters jig in another. I’m not a black person who likes “white music” nor am I a black person that only likes Hip-Hop, I am a multi-faceted black woman who simply likes what I like. I have no need to conform for I have been uniquely and fearfully made.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
P.S. They have an Afropunk Fest in Paris and NY, lets cross our fingers for an LA one!
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