This past weekend, my girl Janelle and I attended the amazingness that was Afropunk Paris! I have followed Afropunk on social media for some time, but had never attend the festival before, and apparently I’ve been missing out!
Two days of black excellence and the best vibes. The amount of sheer joy you saw walking around was absolutely powerful. There was a lot of Black Boy Joy and Black Girl Magic present and everyone was just hypnotized with all the beauty present. From food, art, jewelry, clothing and natural products, to living art, music, dance and impeccable authentic styles. It was lit!
The live acts were amazing, favorite were definitely Macy Gray, Yasiin Bey, Robert Glasper Experiment, French Funk Federation and DJ Anaïs B. Amazing talent and great shows. RGE gave us a heartfelt moment with a tribute to Philander Castile, and Macy reminded us to just live and say fuck it to those who don’t understand us. Of course for Yasiin, this was partially also saying goodbye, so, we had to go down memory lane with a few classics.
The only disappointing aspect of the live shows was the accessibility. One of Afropunk’s slogan is NO ABLEISM, which wasn’t really reflected in the accessibility for those less-abled. Being less-abled shouldn’t mean you can’t get prime access. Being put behind the sound people, was no discomfort to me, but obviously not to someone who is in a wheelchair or scooter for whom a better view near the stage is out of reach, but the view that is assigned then is also partially obstructed by those doing their jobs. This is definitely something I would like Afropunk to pay more attention to.
I would also like to thank the beautiful black souls from Sweden. Getting my own little lit applause & drums from you at Afropunk; because doing a PhD in Law Gender is just that awesome. Thank you! You made me feel uplifted & rooted for!
The number of people who just walk up to you with compliments, asking for pictures, validating your presence. We were all black excellence here. The most beautiful thing was meeting the lovely Black Queers Sweden crew. Samuel, one of the founders, being open & saying there are not many places where we can be our true self. Not many places where I can flirt with someone (even if they’re not queer) and not be in fear.
We need more spaces like this. There’s nothing more beautiful than our people being their authentic self.
As the London edition is coming up this weekend, please go, if you can, just do it. You won’t regret it, and it will revitalize you in ways you can’t express. I am also hoping that very soon we can maybe add another European city to it, just to spread black excellence all over. Amsterdam, maybe you’re next?
Afropunk, You Got Us Feeling Like Black Is The Thing To Be. Always!