WEEKEND PLANS?

We have the details on The Afropunk Fest in Brooklyn, a music, art and political festival hailed by The New York Times as “the most multicultural festival in the U.S.”

Aired on August 24, 2018.

TRANSCRIPT

> ERICA BADU, JANELLE MONET, BUZZ WORTHY NAMES BEING FEATURED AT THIS YEAR'S PUNK FESTIVAL, THE LATEST IN FILM AND ART.

TWO-DAY EVENT BEGAN AS A PLATFORM FOR BLACK PUNK BANDS.

IT'S EXPANDED WORLDWIDE.

NOW, RETURNING TO ITS ROOTS.

HERE TO TELL US MORE, JOCELYN COOPER.

SO NICE TO HAVE YOU.

GOOD TO BE HERE.

LET'S START OFF WITH HOW IT GOT CREATED IN THE FIRST PLACE.

WHAT'S THE GENESIS OF THE FESTIVAL?

IT CAME FROM A FILM THAT MY PARTNER MATTHEW MORGAN PRODUCED CALLED AFRO PUNK AND THE FILM WAS ABOUT YOUNG BLACK KIDS WHO ARE PART OF THE PUNK MOVEMENT WHO FELT DISENFRANCHISED, WHO WEREN'T ACCEPTED BECAUSE OF THE COLOR OF THEIR SKIN, SO IT WAS A STORY THAT MANY PEOPLE COULD RELATE TO.

INTERESTING BECAUSE, IF YOU THINK OF MUSIC AND THE MUSICAL GENRES, IN SO MANY OF THEM, AFRICAN-AMERICANS WERE THE LEADERS, THE FIRST ONES OUT THERE, THE ONES WHO EVERYBODY ELSE ASPIRED TO BE LIKE.

AND YET, WITH THE -- IN THE PUNK WORLD THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN MUSICIANS FELT LEFT OUT?

YOU KNOW, I THINK THAT IF YOU LOOK AT THE BEGINNINGS OF PUNK ROCK, IF YOU LOOK AT A BAND CALLED DEATH AS AN EXAMPLE, OR BAD RAIN, THERE WERE AFRICAN-AMERICAN MUSICIANS THAT WERE A PART OF THAT INITIAL MOVEMENT.

BUT THE AUDIENCES WERE NOT -- WERE NOT BLACK.

AND THE IDEA OF HAVING SORT OF THESE FOLKS THAT WERE, YOU KNOW, NOT WHITE, ENGLISH KIDS, YOU KNOW, WHO WERE WORKING CLASS KIDS FROM LONDON, THE IDEA THAT YOUNG PEOPLE WANTED TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH THAT, I THINK, WAS DIFFICULT FOR FOLKS.

SO TELL ME HOW IT'S EVOLVED, HOW IT'S EVOLVED FROM ITS BEGINNING AND WHERE IT'S GOTTEN TO NOW.

WELL, YOU KNOW, THE INTERESTING THING IS THAT AFRO PUNK HAS ALWAYS BEEN A PLATFORM FOR DISCOVERY, WHETHER IT'S YOUNG PUNK BANDS, OR YOUNG BANDS THAT HAVE A PUNK ATTITUDE, BECAUSE AFRO PUNK REALLY IS ABOUT, YOU KNOW, JUST HAVING A FREEDOM, AND THE IDEA OF BEING ABLE TO COME TOGETHER IN A GROUP, IN A SPACE ONLINE AND EXPRESS YOURSELF.

THAT HAS EVOLVED OVER, YOU KNOW, A 12-YEAR, 14-YEAR PERIOD OF TIME WHERE IT STARTED WITH 250 KIDS AND NOW WE'VE GOT 60,000 FOLKS IN BROOKLYN.

WE'RE REACHING ANOTHER -- YOU KNOW, WE'RE IN PARIS AND LONDON AND ATLANTA AND JOHANNESBURG AT THE END OF THE YEAR.

AND THEN NEXT YEAR IN BRAZIL.

SO IT REALLY HAS EVOLVED GLOBALLY.

THE COMMUNITY BOTH ONLINE AND OFFLINE HAS JUST GROWN AND BLOSSOMED.

AND THERE'S MORE ART INTEGRATED.

THERE'S MORE ACTIVISM, QUITE FRANKLY.

TELL ME ABOUT THAT.

TELL ME ABOUT WHAT THE FESTIVAL WILL LOOK LIKE, WHAT IT WILL FEEL LIKE, WHAT IT WILL SOUND LIKE.

THE THEME THIS YEAR IS THE PEOPLE RESIST.

SO IT SOUNDS LIKE MANY DIFFERENT GENRES OF MUSIC, IT SOUNDS LIKE AN AREA THAT WE HAVE CALLED ACTIVISM ROW WHERE WE HAVE GRASSROOTS ORGANIZATIONS AND OTHER LARGER ORGANIZATIONS LIKE A.I.D.S. HEALTH CARE FOUNDATION AND EVEN AARP ARE INVOLVED THIS YEAR.

THOSE OF US THAT FALL INTO THAT CATEGORY, I'VE GOT MY CARD.

CARD CARRIERS.

YES, WE ARE.

AND WE WILL REGISTER PEOPLE TO VOTE.

WE HAVE A SPECIAL SURPRISE, ANGELA DAVIS IS ACTUALLY COMING THIS YEAR TO BE A PART OF A VERY SPECIAL TRIBUTE TO AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMEN AND MUSIC.

AND PRIOR TO THE FESTIVAL WE HAVE CONVERSATIONS WITH THOUGHT LEADERS CALLED THE AFRO PUNK SOLUTION SESSION WHICH ARE TWO DAYS OF CONVERSATIONS.

IRA DUVANE IS HERE WITH US, HAVING A CONVERSATION WITH TERRENCE NANCE WHO LAUNCHED A SHOW OF 'RANDOM ACTS OF FLYNESS' ON HBO.

THE IDEA IS YOU CONNECT SKATER KIDS AND MUSICIANS AND KIDS THAT ARE INTO FASHION AND POLITICS AND YOU PUT THEM INTO THIS ONE GROUP, A DAY OF FREEDOM AND EXPRESSION.

IT SOUNDS LIKE IT'S ALMOST SORT OF AN EVENTART, AND TYLER THE CREATOR IS THERE IN THE SAME SPACE.

HOW HAS YOUR AUDIENCE CHANGED OVER THE YEARS?

THE AUDIENCE HAS GROWN, THE AUDIENCE HAS BECOME YOUNGER OVER THE YEARS.

THE AUDIENCE HAS CERTAINLY BECOME MORE GLOBAL.

WE -- 'THE NEW YORK TIMES' CALLED US THE MOST MULTICULTURAL FESTIVAL IN NEW YORK, AND THAT, FOR US, MEANS THAT PEOPLE FROM GHANA AND PEOPLE FROM THE CARIBBEAN, AND PEOPLE FROM, YOU KNOW, NEW YORK AND CHICAGO ALL COME TOGETHER IN THE SAME SPACE.

AND THAT BECOMES SORT OF THIS MASHUP OF CULTURES.

LAST QUESTION FOR YOU.

SO IF SOMEBODY HEARS ABOUT THIS, LET'S SAY -- I DON'T KNOW WHAT THIS IS.

I DON'T KNOW WHY IT IS.

OR WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE, SOUNDS LIKE OR FEELS LIKE AND THEY SAY WAIT A MINUTE, YOU'RE A CREATOR HERE, WHAT IS THIS AND WHY SHOULD I GO?

WHAT'S THE ANSWER?

THE ANSWER IS THAT IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR INTERESTING, EDUCATED, LIKE-MINDED, FREE SPACE AND PEOPLE, YOU SHOULD COME TO AFRO PUNK.

WHY WOULDN'T YOU BE INTERESTED IN THOSE THINGS, RIGHT?

JOCELYN, THANK YOU SO MUCH.

IT WAS A PLEASURE TO MEET YOU AND CHAT WITH YOU.

GOOD LUCK WITH IT.

WE'LL HAVE YOU BACK AS IT CONTINUES.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT YOUR WEBSITE AT METROFOCUS.ORG.

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