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Rebellion and social nonconformity: Afropunk 2019

Photo by Sylvester Silver III | The Signal
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Afropunk Atlanta 2019 started Saturday at 787 Windsor. The Afropunk Festival in 2003 following the release of a documentary of the same name showcasing the role of African Americans in the punk scene. Afropunk aims to achieve the same goal as the documentary by providing representation for black alternative artists and fans in a safe space for people regardless of their sexuality, age, gender, race or body size. The event also hosts Solution Sessions where African American people speak on prominent social issues. 

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Afropunk Atlanta 2019 started Saturday at 787 Windsor.

The Afropunk Festival in 2003 following the release of a documentary of the same name showcasing the role of African Americans in the punk scene. Afropunk aims to achieve the same goal as the documentary by providing representation for black alternative artists and fans in a safe space for people regardless of their sexuality, age, gender, race or body size. The event also hosts Solution Sessions where African American people speak on prominent social issues. 

Ayn Rand Conference 2019

The atmosphere was extremely lighthearted and welcoming. People young and old swayed to the genre-bending, unique beats. Kashii mixed eras of music he samples from, including disco to modern R&B, creating tracks that everyone would recognize the tune regardless of age. 

Erin, who preferred her last name not be used, has been a regular attendee of Afropunk for four years. She usually attends the event in Brooklyn, New York, but this year was her first time in Atlanta. She spoke about Afropunk as an outlet for African Americans in the punk/alternative community. 

“I think there’s been a definite switch. I think it’s become more culturally acceptable because before there wasn’t really a time or space for the black community to be so involved in the punk community,” Erin said. “I think Afropunk has done a great job at creating that avenue, so people now feel like they can be involved and feel safe being more involved.”

Punk as a genre has historically been white-dominated and has not offered much of a space for African American punk fans and artists to participate. Afropunk has since changed the punk world in the last 16 years by becoming a safe space and setting an example for the rest of the punk/alternative scene.

 

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