What is Afropunk? What started out as a way to show that punk and hardcore rock included musicians of color has come to showcase music of many genres. I had the opportunity to photograph and ask concert-goers what the annual Brooklyn festival means to them. The article was published on The Wall Street Journal on August 2017.
“It's a great experience to see people are just like me, outside of the norm. I feel like I'm in my own type of family here. It's kind of like a reunion.” Jayee Adams, 20, Queens, N.Y.
“I love the energy of Afropunk. There's always great energy here. It's a free spirit, and I just feel so open. Today I wanted to push that bar so that black men could do anything, wear anything they want and not worry about stigmas.” Van Williams, 25, Cincinnati, Ohio
“I’m here to have a celebration. I’m just here for the weekend. I’m excited for Solange — I like her message, her feminism, black power message. Just being weird and yourself.” Jhaynane Bastien, 28, from Washington D.C.
“Oh my gosh, the people, the fashion. I like coming to Afropunk and seeing what people are gonna put on. I feel like this is where they choose to be risky. I like to come and see how people come out of their shell.” Sabrina Cates, 30, New Orleans, La.
"I came last year and I enjoyed the experience. I love seeing other people, colors, the artists. i love seeing beautiful people — it just makes me happy." Kaylia Hemmings, 20, from Plainfield, New Jersey
“It's a place to celebrate with my friends. I come here and there are so many people I haven't seen in a long time, and so many people I just met. It feels like a really great homecoming that's not a specific place, because we come from all over the place. It's like a cultural homecoming.” Naima Ramos-Chapman, 30, Brooklyn, N.Y.
“You can be whoever you want, not being judged, just being free to be yourself. ” Angelica Thomas, 29, California
“Afropunk means being proud of who I am. Being proud of every piece of me.” JaQuam Mitchell, 22, St Martinville, La.
“The first time I was so amazed and overwhelmed by the environment and all the people. And so I had to come back for a second time. It's a really rich place to be. Afropunk means being unapologetic.” Erin Mitchell, 28, Birmingham, Ala.
“Afropunk means liberating, being black, and being free. There is no judgment.” Leslie Henderson, 30 from Texas
“I love Afropunk. I went in Paris and London last year, and now I’m back in the States so I’m going to do it again. It’s for us and by us. It’s a forum to have our own space and to be able to exist. To be our most creative and open selves and everyone is accepted. It’s a safe space. Afropunk is for me. ” Elyse Hines, 21 from St. Louis, Missouri