AFROPUNK

... the other Black experience

The Movement

When Matthew Morgan and James Spooner joined forces in 2002, their focus was giving a voice to thousands of multi-cultural kids fiercely identifying with a lifestyle path-less-traveled. Morgan, a visionary with 15 years in the music industry, instinctively understood that the indie rock/punk/hardcore scene had powerful appeal beyond the predictable Caucasian audience; the passion evident in writer-director Spooners hours of riveting hand-shot footage was the indisputable proof. The result: 2003's 'Afro-punk', the seminal cult classic film spotlighting Black Punks in America.

AFROPUNK became a touchstone of a cultural movement strongly reminiscent of the early days of Hip-Hop. Alternative urban kids across the nation (and across the globe) who felt like outsiders discovered they were actually the core of a boldly innovative, fast-growing community. The online members have been the driving force behind the exploding AFROPUNK (AP) culture, creating an authentic virtual home in www.afropunk.com, and nurturing the music's best and brightest via expansion of the Liberation Sessions, a live performance series hosted by Spooner.

As the AP movement continued to gain momentum and influence, everyone began to notice. The Liberation Sessions went front-and-center at CMJ and SXSW, press coverage ranged from Pitchfork, URB, Vibe, and Nylon to The New York Times, Variety, Entertainment Weekly, and The Los Angeles Times.

In 2005, the very first annual AFROPUNK Festival debuted to wildly enthusiastic crowds at the iconic Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). Co-curated by Morgan and Spooner, the festival celebrated and unified the cultural cornerstones of AFROPUNK: music, film, skate, and most importantly, the fiercely independent and influential individuals that are the lifeblood of the AP community.

Since 2008, the AFROPUNK Festival is spearheaded by Morgan and partner Jocelyn Cooper. Described by the New York Times as “the most multicultural festival in the US,” the word AFROPUNK itself has become synonymous with open-minded, non-conforming and unconventional, placing the institution at the epicenter of urban culture inspired by alternative music.

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BANDS WE FUCK WITH

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WHITE LIES BLACK SHEEP

2009 AFROPUNK FESTIVAL

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