Has Afropunk Abandoned Its Origins?

The Afropunk Festival was born of necessity, a reprieve from racism in punk spaces and a chance for black punks to build community with one another. Today, the festival is less strictly punk and more soul, with acts like Lauryn Hill, Lenny Kravitz, and Gary Clark, Jr., receiving top billing over black punk bands. While this move toward attracting wider audiences has worked, it’s also shifted the focus away from the movement’s origins—and pushed out punk fans in the process.

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Photograph by Richard Levine / Alamy