All sun, no shade: My experience at AfroPunk 2017 in Brooklyn
Day 1: I wore a funeral fascinator because my mind has been in a state of mourning over recent tragedies targeting and threatening the culture(s) from which I derive.
Day 2: I wore a fishnet shirt and duct tape over my nipples because i am proud of what my body looks like after all of the personal trauma it has endured — all thanks to our miraculous God.
Both days I wore earplugs because the world can miss me with its racist, ableist, homophobic, censorship, judgmental, ignorant, insensitive… bullshit.
If you are black, blessed, beautiful and woke but were not in Brooklyn, NY this past weekend celebrating your inner and outer glow at Commodore Barry Park for AfroPunk 2017, you were simply in the wrong place.
I was out there catching all of this sun and absolutely no shade, where I perhaps leveled up on receiving my inner goddess due to the overdose of melanin and freedom of self-expression from beginning to end.
Every breathing moment I am sure to celebrate my entire being from head to toe no matter who or what I am surrounded by, but don’t get it twisted and believe for a second that doing so is some sort of feat that comes easily.
A human just like the next person, we have all had our share of insecurities in fitting in with the standards by which mainstream and popular culture tell us are acceptable. Being a person of color, we have tirelessly encountered our existence fluctuating in validity solely based on our outer appearance alone. The world can be a cruel place, and our current presidential administration doesn’t necessarily do a bad job of reminding us about the flaws of our society.
Having been personally met with resistance because of my race, cultural background, gender, sexual orientation, physical disabilities and preference of self-expression among other things, I have found the road to awareness of my true identity and pride sometimes a challenging one to travel. At times it may appear just… easier to perpertrate something that I was not. And while I will point out some of the privileges I have been afforded to give me an easier life that some — always praying for our community of Black men — I don’t always find total self-confidence just the easiest pill to swallow, either.
Owning myself in its entirety has been part of an ongoing journey…
It is an amazing, miraculous, spiritually cleansing, journey that I am honored to walk everyday. Thank you AfroPunk Fest Brooklyn for giving me a space to express the beauty of self, and God bless.
Were you at AfroPunk?