How AfroPunk represents the music, style and freedom of Afrofuturism

Instagram users @facesofcocoa and @kenyattamuenda. (Photo credit: A.R. Shaw for Steed Media)

On an overcast day in Atlanta, thousands of Black people, mostly millennials, experienced the 2019 AfroPunk Festival. The annual festival, which also takes place in Brooklyn, New York; Paris, France; and South Africa which will take place on Dec. 30 and 31, provides a safe space for Black people to express themselves through music, style and fashion.

Anderson Paak. Photo: A.R. Shaw for Steed Media

The only rules at AfroPunk are “no homophobia, no racism, no ageism, no ableism, no ageism, no transphobia, no fatphobia, and no hatefulness.”

Instagram users @kemistudio5 and @olu_ (Photo credit: A.R. Shaw for Steed Media)

Attendees dressed in elaborate colors, wore face paintings, covered their faces with gold masks and allowed their natural hair to remain free with curls, Afros, and locs.

Special guests included Anderson .Paak, Earthgang, Gallant, FKA Twigs, Danny Brown, Sir, and others.

Anderson Paak. Photo: A.R. Shaw for Steed Media

AfroPunk also provided a glimpse into the reality of Afrofuturism.

Afrofuturism is the reimagining of a future filled with arts, science, and technology, seen through a Black perspective. Although the term was conceived by author Mark Dery in the essay “Black to the Future,” many call author Octavia Butler the mother of Afrofuturism.

AfroPunk attendee. (Photo credit: A.R. Shaw for Steed Media)

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A.R. Shaw
A.R. Shaw

A.R. Shaw is an author and journalist who documents culture, politics, and entertainment. He has covered The Obama White House, the summer Olympics in London, and currently serves as Lifestyle Editor for Rolling Out magazine. Shaw's latest book, Trap History, delves into the history and global dominance of Trap music. Follow his journey on TrapHistory.Com, Twitter @arshaw and Instagram @arshaw23.

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