Once upon a time Afropunk–the term, the film and the festival that went with it–may have represented a definable style or subculture; a scene. By Afropunk 2015, though, anybody with eyes to see can pretty confidently say that the term ‘afropunk’ is less of a singular style than it is a celebration of diversity and originality. One can’t thinking of Ta-Nehisi Coates formulation that “they made us a race, but we made us a people.” This frutiful multiplicity is reflected in the eclectic bill of Afropunk Festival, which touched pop, rock, r&b, metal, disco, trap, reggae, house–all on Day 1. Its the youth who beat a path to Brooklyn’s door that are the real stars, though, and the beautiful people who overflowed Commodore Barry Park near Brooklyn’s Navy Yard represented a thousand shades of black–and as many way to buck the system and resist conformity. Some of the styles on display represented the tapestry of young Brooklyn, the same fashion show of the borough’s cleanest and meanest looks that you could see at Brooklyn Flea or Everyday People on any given Sunday. But Afropunk handed those same an extra license to stunt and added kindred spirits who arrived from Cali to Copenhagen–including quite a few with no Afro-DNA, who’s personal style nevertheless embodied a philosophical state of becoming-black. OKP photographer Eddie Pearson was on hand to capture it all and give us a scintillating cross-section of the loud color, bold patterns and beatiful people of Afropunk 2015.
Eddie Pearson for Okayplayer