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Afro-punk (sometimes spelled Afropunk or AfroPunk) refers to the participation of African Americans and other black people in the punk and alternative music cultures. Afro-punks make up a minority in the North American punk scene. However, they represent a majority in the punk culture in predominantly black regions of the world that have burgeoning punk communities, such as in parts of Africa. There are many punk rock bands with black members, and several with lineups that are all black.
Notable bands that can be linked to the Afro-punk community include: Death, Pure Hell, Bad Brains, Suicidal Tendencies, Dead Kennedys, Reagan Youth, Fishbone, Wesley Willis Fiasco, Suffrajett, The Templars, Shinobi Ninja, Santigold, Time Again and Rough Francis. Afro-punk has become a movement, comparable to the grassroots punk-related movements of the gay community in queercore, and of women in the riot grrrl scene.
AFROPUNK Music Festival is a music festival in Brooklyn that stemmed from the Afropunk culture. Matthew Morgan and James Spooner joined forces in 2002, their focus was giving a voice to multi-cultural kids identifying with a lifestyle path-less-traveled. Morgan, a visionary with 15 years in the music industry, instinctively understood that the indie rock/punk/hardcore scene had powerful appeal beyond the predictable Caucasian audience; the passion evident in writer-director Spooners hours of riveting hand-shot footage was the indisputable proof. In 2003, the seminal cult classic film "Afro-punk" was made, spotlighting black punks in the United States. AFROPUNK became a touchstone of a cultural movement strongly reminiscent of the early days of Hip-Hop. Alternative urban kids across the nation (and across the globe) who felt like outsiders discovered they were actually the core of a boldly innovative, fast-growing community. The online members have been the driving force behind the exploding AFROPUNK (AP) culture, creating an authentic virtual home and nurturing the music's best and brightest via expansion of the Liberation Sessions, a live performance series hosted by Spooner.As the AP movement continued to gain momentum and influence, everyone began to notice.
The Liberation Sessions went front-and-center at CMJ and SXSW, press coverage ranged from Pitchfork, URB, Vibe, and Nylon to The New York Times, Variety, Entertainment Weekly, and The Los Angeles Times. In 2005, the very first annual AFROPUNK Festival debuted to wildly enthusiastic crowds at the iconic Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). Co-curated by Morgan and Spooner, the festival celebrated and unified the cultural cornerstones of AFROPUNK: music, film, skate, and most importantly, the fiercely independent and influential individuals that are the lifeblood of the AP community.
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- Truly Indie Fans NYTimes article about the Afro-Punk culture movement