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Afro-punk (sometimes spelled Afro-Punk, Afropunk or AfroPunk) refers to the participation of African Americans and other black people in punk and alternative subcultures, especially in the United States where this scene had been overwhelmingly white.


The term originated from the 2003 documentary Afro-Punk directed by James Spooner.[1]

In the early 21st century, Afro-punks made up a minority in the North American punk scene. Notable bands that can be linked to the Afro-punk community include: Death, Pure Hell, Bad Brains, Suicidal Tendencies, Dead Kennedys, Fishbone, Wesley Willis Fiasco, Suffrajett, The Templars, Unlocking the Truth and Rough Francis. In the United Kingdom, influential black musicians associated with the late 1970s punk scene included Poly Styrene of X-Ray Spex, Don Letts and Basement 5.[2][3] Afro-punk has become a movement, comparable to the early hip hop movement of the 1980s. The Afropunk Music Festival was founded in 2005 by James Spooner and Matthew Morgan.[4]

"In their 15 years of existence, Afropunk has managed to curate an environment that can only be described as an ethereal, momentary hideaway for black people from all corners and crevices of the diaspora —and this year was no different. The festival explicitly invites folks to come and be who they are, wear whatever they wear, and dance how they dance. It was a blank space to freak out in—and freak out they did." -GQStyle

"AFROPUNK became a radical act of self care — a realized demand of safe spaces for people of color." -TeenVogue

"The musicians at AFROPUNK were there not just to sing and rap but to celebrate and give voice to communities of difference. That dual responsibility is exactly what separates AFROPUNK from other run-of-the-mill music festivals in America." - Noisey

Afropunk is known to be funded and promoted by media companies such as Teen Vogue and has also received controversy and speculation for its overwhelmingly white consumers [5][6]


AfroPunk has Festivals in 5 locations. The 2019 Brooklyn AfroPunk Festival took place on August 24 and 25.[7] The Atlanta AfroPunk will take place October 12 and 13.[8] There will also be festivals in London,[9] Paris,[10] and Joburg.[11] The line-up for the festivals vary depending on location, but include artists, Jill Scott, Anderson Paak, FKA Twigs, Leon Bridges, Danny Brown, Smino, Tierra Whack, Ho99o9, Earth Gang, Kamasi Washington, Santigold, Fever 333, Leikeli47, Mahalia, and many more.


  1. ^ Afropunk Started With A Documentary, Village Voice
  2. ^ Jones, Daisy (November 19, 2015). "The black punk pioneers who made music history". Retrieved March 31, 2018.
  3. ^ Williams, Harrison (October 3, 2017). "Basement 5 announced reissue of debut material "1965-1980" and "In Dub"". Mixmag. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
  4. ^ Afropunk Abandoned Its Origins, New Yorker
  5. ^ Hussein, Wandera. "Afropunk attendees say they were kicked out of VIP over handwritten T-shirt". Wandera Hussein.
  6. ^ Donnley, Ebony. "Afropunk doesn't care about black people: Beyond a t-shirt". Ebony Donnley.
  7. ^ "Brooklyn". AFROPUNK. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
  8. ^ "Atlanta". AFROPUNK. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
  9. ^ "London". AFROPUNK. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
  10. ^ "Paris". AFROPUNK. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
  11. ^ "Joburg". AFROPUNK. Retrieved May 1, 2019.

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