Editor, Natelege Whaley reviews the 5th Annual Afro Punk Festival in Brooklyn, NY.
Half-shaved afros, colorful locks, and funky bright clothed people attended the free 5th annual Afro-Punk festival held at BAM in Brooklyn this past Independence Day. Surprisingly, it was a beautiful afternoon, an improvement from the long gray rainy spring that ruled NYC in June.
The Afro-Punk Festival is presented by BAMcinematik, and includes a film festival and music performances, and wraps up on Saturday July 12th with an Afro-Punk Block Party. The festival began July 3rd with the opening of the skate park. The Afro-Punk festival headlines many alternative Black punk and alternative rock artists, a departure from the mainstream that often associates Blacks with R&B and Hip Hop.
Skater and biker addicts rode on the ramps provided in the parking lot turned skate park. Others attendees stood in front of the stage and watched the various performances from indie artists including Whole Wheat Bread, Game Rebellion, and The Objex.The festival also included a performance from Janelle Monae, who also made an appearence at the festival last year.
During Game Rebellion’s set, die hard rockers shook, bounced, and sweated with no care, creating a man made dance floor in the stage pit. Game Rebellion threw a beach ball and black balloons into the crowd and suggested that everyone join in on crowd surfing. Although most people hesitated to take part, there were a few brave souls who hopped on stage and dived right into the crowd. Even a few young kids.
The films featured in the festival portrayed the experiences of the diverse African Diaspora. These films included “Faubourg Treme: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans” and “Favela Rising,” about a man who started a band called AfroReggae and made music to spread a positive messages to youth in Brazil. The festival also includes a whole day dedicated to Spike Lee’s films showing Do the Right Thing, A Huey P. Newton Story, and others.
The Afro-Punk Festival has a strong turn out and will only get bigger and strengthen the afro-punk movement.