Greetings everyone(that realizing blog post was huge!),
I'm writing about this blog after finally going to afropunk yesterday where I got to see a bunch of wonderful black and brown people along with some pretty good music. It was a lot of fun to explore the activism, internet marketing and entrepreneurial merchandise of the festival. It was also fun to see friends and listen to acts like SZA, Lauryn Hill and Kelis - who has become a new love. It was also wonderful to see so many gorgeous and natural haired black women. Which brings me to the main point of this post: the BLM movement and how strong it truly is.
Some of my view points in this post are nothing new as I've talked at length about the movement post-Trayvon Martin, Atlanta, my black female love and my diminishing returns on white friends. However, what is new is how much I realized the power of a setting like afropunk.
As I join black travel groups, meet more men of women of color who represent my world now. This is intriguing as unless we work together I almost meet no new people who are not black, sure I meet the occasional person of latin, middle eastern, indian, or east asian descent, but nearly everybody I interact with now is black. And I have no issues with that. Furthermore, I felt extremely comfortable about afropunk and when I headed back to Manhattan and grabbed a pastrami from Katz's Deli I noticed how the people of color were not the patrons but the help/service. That being said there like 4 black people including myself eating there. While afropunk was a sea of black with some white sprinkled in, Katz's Deli was a sea of white with some black sprinkled in. To be honest, this is most educated black people's world, but it's changing.
Afropunk showed a plethora of natural, self-loving and educated black people who were stylized and beautiful to the point where a world was created. However, I've always enjoyed this world from parties in the hood in high school and Atlanta, specific parties in Houston, and House in the Park Atlanta. I just never knew what to do with those situation before Atlanta when I began to understand the nuances and differences of being black because the city is black. Brooklyn is like Atlanta in that it has down to earth and afrocentric blacks, while Harlem is more like DC in that there is big class separation of lower and then the classic man Jidenna look that is very popular these days. I relate more to Brooklyn, but work never puts me there so for now I work with Harlem which is a bit more bougie and weavey but after some great discourse with women with weave I fully understand the personal choices and while I prefer natural I'll be rolling cool with a gorgeous black woman in weave as well. As I've met and been informed of all this brilliance it has been truly apparent that my old friends and I are not the same anymore. Neither is the media
Black twitter, instagram, protests, facebook soapboxes and periscope livefeeds have taken the Black Lives Matter movement to the masses and it is in your face and not going away. There are not tons of videos of trash from the hood, but instead tons of pathos come from articles at length, black travel and leisure markets, celebrity (Janelle Monae) activism, movies and music (Dope and To Pimp a Butterfly) that are basically showing there are millions of us in this country who have a voice and absolutely know how to use it and social media is the perfect platform for that. A good deal of people I know have been truly bringing up great articles and discussion that is unapologetic even when people get on my case from not preferring white women or the idea of Jew shaming (I have some wonderful white female friends who are just as active and as for the Jewish bit Straight Outta Compton highlighted that - big issues when you offend the Jewish community, silence when you offend the black community - and that's not right I don't care who you are). This leads me having to apologize to some people...why should that be the case if you consider the history. From all of this activism there are serious movements happening in this country and if you're not with it than you are beyond ignorant.
-Side on Straight Outta Compton - it's extremely relevant and showcases both how much hip-hop has changed, the old school days of LA, Rodney King Riots = today's, CRASH = Ferguson police force, the degradation of women (which I will 180 in the next paragraph), and an overwhelming sense of black appreciation since everyone wants to emulate us but not be us.
Of note, the black women and their entrepreneurial sense seem to the most radical and enlightened about the movement in how much they correct me, support, uplift and guide me and nearly everyone else on this journey from the lowest ladder whether it's loving Lupita N'yongo, being grown with money, supporting Serena Williams or actively supporting their natural hair, look and confidence (afropunk was heaven!). As such, I've noticed their motivations and I support them as they often support me (my blog, pictures, and posts are getting more attention due to this). Overall, I love it and I love what's happening and I have no problems stating that as the rest of my world dwindles. As I fully embrace the blackness of myself (along with that Portuguese life in which I've determined a great tattoo as the shield on the flag being the protector of my blackness), I see the BLM movement fully embrace itself. This has been a wonderful year for us and that is who I'm all about promoting.
Black Lives Matter will be televised on social media whether you like it or not!