Sex Education for the Real World…

 


Life: Charlie’s Afropunk 2014 Recap

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Posted August 28, 2014 by Kimani in Love. Life. Erotica.

Afropunk happened to take place on the weekend of my wedding anniversary, so I missed out on all the festivities. Luckily, I was able to live vicariously through the mind of my Vadge writer, Charlie. The eyes were provided by Kai Bush, and his vivid view was further enhanced by Charlie’s storytelling skills. Feast, my dears… – Kimi

2014 Kai Bush Photography

For the past 10 years, the AfroPunk Festival has provided its visitors with live music from various genres, food from different cultures as well as up and coming local vendors whose products are all hand crafted and typically one of a kind. As the name suggests, the one thing that connects the variety involved is that everything comes as part of the the Black Experience. Settled in Brooklyn,NY even in 2014, it still seems rare to hear of black heavy metal bands. Our involvement and interest in techno or popular queer rappers, but whatever lifestyles Black folks lead, they all can be found represented at the AfroPunk Festival.

2014 Kai Bush Photography

2014 Kai Bush Photography

In my previous year attending the festival, I have had the pleasure of seeing Erykah Badu perform at  AfroPunk 11’. At the time, it was my first experience and I literally had no idea what to expect. I remember recalling self taught lessons of “black people don’t…” right before walking into the festival and having the statement blow up in my face. It was the idea that we actually do that I was fighting against..I tend to be the exception in many of  my circles as to what black people, fat people, women, New Yorkers, West Indians, don’t do. When waiting in line to enter the festival, men and women alike could easily be classified as goth, alternative, hippies,afrocentric and weirdos by societal standards. The variety of folks made me feel right at home. I can’t say that I recall any other performances I attended due to the fact that I was overwhelmed that Black people led these various lifestyles. People were attending  from everywhere  across the nation and across the world, yet we could all be found in this one space, enjoying one another.

Photo via Kai Bush Photography

Photo via Kai Bush Photography

This year, it was a family affair. My mother, younger brother, aunt and cousin all came out to experience AfroPunk. Much to my surprise, the jewelry,art and clothing vendors were a major delight to them. For my mother, it was extremely important and valuable to see Black people supporting their communities by purchasing from local Black vendors and businesses. Although it did come as a shock to her that there were so many different sorts of folks there who did not fit the stereotype of what Black people were, it was still just as much of a pleasure for her. My 15 year old brother’s interest was piqued when he saw the stations in support of ending police brutality, recalling recent events in Ferguson,MI and the various Black men who have been murdered due to police brutality and racism throughout the U.S. Any petition to show support, he wanted to sign his name on the dotted line. He was disappointed to find that he was not old enough to vote nor was he able to join the NAACP chapter in New York but it was great to see him ready and willing to support.  I was able to attend many more performances this year including an artist who is very important to me by the name of $1Bin. Other artists I had the pleasure of seeing were SZA, Meshell Ndegeocello, D’Angelo and Cakes Da Killa. I was in love with the amount of people wearing their natural hair in various styles and dyed in some of the most beautiful colors I had ever seen. I think it is safe to say that no one is ashamed of being Black this weekend. When the called was made for Black Power, fists and a long moment of silence spread through the crowd.

2014 Kai Bush Photography

2014 Kai Bush Photography

A major take away from the weekend is that events like these need to be shared throughout communities. There are so many stigmas and stereotypes that even Black folks are unaware of. It is important for us as a community to see ourselves as beautiful, as important as diverse not only across cultures but across lifestyles. We are just as limitless and unique as everyone else on this planet.

Did you make it to AfroPunk? How was your experience? 

More Photos – via Kai Bush Photography:

DSC_0043 DSC_0027

2014 Kai Bush Photography

2014 Kai Bush Photography




About the Author

Kimani

A NY transplant in Florida, Kimani has taken on the task of educating the world on sexual health and education. The Mount Vernon native has seen AIDS and HIV spread through her community like wildfire, and hopes to cease the transmission of these and other diseases one person at a time. If you know better, you're inclined to do better.

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