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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.


The term originated from the 2003 documentary Afro-Punk directed by James Spooner and Matthew Morgan.[1] But, Afro-punk music has been around since the mid-70s with Pure Hell. Pure Hell was the first all black punk band that originated in Philadelphia, PA.[2]

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.[3][4] 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.[5]


AfroPunk has Festivals in 5 locations. The 2019 Brooklyn AfroPunk Festival took place on August 24 and 25.[6] The Atlanta AfroPunk will take place October 12 and 13.[7] There will also be festivals in London,[8] Paris,[9] and Joburg.[10] 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.

The recent 2023 lineup featured, Joey Bada$$, Baby Tate, Sudan Archives, Enny, and more.[11]


  1. ^ Afropunk Started With A Documentary, Village Voice
  2. ^ "The History Of Afro-Punk – The Official Black Magazine". Retrieved December 1, 2023.
  3. ^ Jones, Daisy (November 19, 2015). "The black punk pioneers who made music history". Retrieved March 31, 2018.
  4. ^ Williams, Harrison (October 3, 2017). "Basement 5 announced reissue of debut material "1965-1980" and "In Dub"". Mixmag. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
  5. ^ Afropunk Abandoned Its Origins, New Yorker
  6. ^ "Brooklyn". AFROPUNK. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
  7. ^ "Atlanta". AFROPUNK. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
  8. ^ "London". AFROPUNK. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
  9. ^ "Paris". AFROPUNK. Archived from the original on December 11, 2019. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
  10. ^ "Joburg". AFROPUNK. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
  11. ^ Hatfield, Amanda (August 25, 2023). "Afropunk Brooklyn 2023 Set Times". BrooklynVegan. Retrieved December 1, 2023.

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