Afropunk BK #WeSeeYou 2019: Mamas, Moments & More
In 2018, me and my girls went to our first Afropunk because we’re music junkies, and could NOT miss the opportunity to see THEE Erykah Badu headlining in a space with other black hippies like ourselves. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. It was MUCH more than Erykah. Much more than outfits, black music and black culture. It was one of the safest spaces I’ve ever experienced that completely set me free and accepted me- my mind, my body and my spirit. It was the first place I’d ever been to that I had to ask “is this real?”, just because strangers were co-existing in a space moving with love and kindness. Society has us thinking that a small group of black folk can’t function safely in public, and Afropunk clearly proves that to be untrue year after year with it’s 70,000 attendees and counting spanning from 2005 to present.
Afro: as in, born of African spirit and heritage; see also black (not always), see also rhythm and color, see also other, see also underdog.
Punk: as in, rebel, opposing the simple route, imbued with a DIY ethic, looking forward with simplicity, rawness and open curiosity; see also other, see also underdog.
AFROPUNK is defining culture by the collective creative actions of the individual and the group. It is a safe place, a blank space to freak out in, to construct a new reality, to live your life as you see fit, while making sense of the world around you.
I will say that I am in RARE FORM while at Afropunk. The level of love that I have for myself and my body now had been nonexistent for most of my life. It took for me to feel my worst after having a child for me to now feel sexier than ever before. That transformation from self-loathing to self-love is indescribable. But I’ve had to be extremely patient with myself, be intentional with the words I use about my body and expose myself to new spaces, people readings, etc. Afropunk is a place that allows me to be free and liberated.
Mamas need a space to wear our tits low, our stretch marks etches along our bodies, our loose skin free. Our bodies tell our stories. It shows our strength. It gives us freedom.
The female body is MAGIC. Our uterus goes from about 3 inches to the size of a full grown watermelon (about 2 lbs) during pregnancy and shrinks back to it’s original size after delivery. Our wombs heal themselves!
This year we got to see Jilly from Philly (Jill Scott), Masego, Leikeli47, Santigold, Goldlink (and Jidenna’s fine self), Nao, Tierra Wack, J.I.D- the list literally goes on.
But more than the performances, Afropunk is a visual ode to brilliance, beauty and blackness. The biggest moment for me definitely had to be connecting with Scottie Beam IRL. She is gentle but firey, humble but spicy, and full of LOVE. She has all the qualities that you want as a woman, and is exactly who she is in person as she is online. She is who she says she is and I HAD to let her know how her influence has inspired me to show up for black mamas in this community.
After attending last year and seeing so many beautiful black mamas and families, I said this year I would photograph them and feature them on the blog! It was perfect timing, because this year’s Afropunk Brooklyn theme was : #WeSeeYou, which in my opinion can be presumed as VISIBILITY. More than anyone, black mothers, babies, and families NEED to be seen. We need to be acknowledged, respected, and loved. So here is my bow to black culture, black bodies, black families, and black motherhood.