Afropunk Fest means a lot to me. When it was canceled last year because of Hurricane Irene, it was sad. I don’t have tattoos or piercings or dye my hair blue, but I feel very punk rock. I quit my comfy day job seven years ago to pursue happiness. I started a stand-up comedy show with no experience in producing or promoting. I run a blog about cupcakes. Ok, that doesn’t sound very punk rock. Growing up in Birmingham, Alabama and later suburban Altanta, I was the odd one. I was a voracious reader. I made collages from teen magazines. I loved MTV and ‘Friday Night Videos’.
Several years ago, I went to a screening of Afropunk, the documentary. I saw myself in the stories of the kids who slam dance and skateboard. Since then, I have been on the Afropunk listserve and have attended many shows. Santi White who is now known as Santigold played Afropunk show with her former band, Stiffed. See a black girl rock out in front of an audience who were black like me was a thrill.
Afropunk.com is this site where there’s a mix of culture, music, art and community. I scan the email newsletter to find out what the cool kids are doing, because I am not twentysomething any more. I wonder if they know how lucky there are to find their tribe online. AfroPunkFest is where the tribe connect offline. I would love it if there were AfroPunk events like art shows, hackathons, or cook-offs. AfroPunk is not a monolith and neither are black people.