Afropunk 2019

Published on August 27th, 2019
The signs on the big screen say “no sexism, no racism, no ageism” and so on. That will do the trick.Jaylin Ward/101 Magazine

Signs on the big screen say “no sexism, no racism, no ageism” and so on. That will do the trick.

Sights and sounds of Afrofuturism occupied Brooklyn. Kaytranada kept the sound alive, and Soulection made it a party. People moved gracefully adorned in gold, silver and other metals and did not drop one bead of sweat in the frying sun. Men and women wore hair that defied social norms and gravity alike. They basked in their glory and gave photographers a bang for their $80 field day.

White people basked in our shine, too — over confidently occupying space. Yet they can afford to, while punk creatives sit on the outskirts on the park selling copper jewelry and nutcrackers to passers-by. The insiders watch renowned artists; the outsiders watch the BQE traffic: hierarchy. They watch the intersections get busy and tureenful like their own. It’s all okay though. Good music is playing, and the signs on the big screen say “no sexism, no racism, no ageism” and so on. That will do the trick.

The 808 bumps and our chests feel the vibrations, all too persuasive to not make you dance. How can one not dance when you look good and the DJ put a Megan thee Stallion song over a Brazilian funk beat? How can you not move your feet when you can finally be in a space where you can be openly you — if you can afford it?

It sounds like carefree laughter, camera shutters, crossfading beats and crossfaded conversations. It smells like green backs and cocoa butter in here. It smells like exploitation in here. It smells like escapism in here. But we look good; so it’s okay.

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