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The founder and creator of AfroPunk shares a compelling story about the irony of losing his black punk dream––only to regain it in a most unexpected way.


At a time when images of black people were portrayed through a very limited, reductive, and often negative mainstream lens, James Spooner set out to redefine Blackness for alternative kids embracing the ethics of punk rock rebellion culture throughout the country. James added nuance to what it is to be “Black” by telling punk kids’ stories and developing AfroPunk both as a film, culture, and later as the AfroPunk Festival. James relays the story of finding punk culture, the reasons behind making the film, where the protagonists are today, building the AfroPunk community, and why he had to step away from the festival after being ensnared in a punk vs. capitalism tug of war. What does it mean to be punk? Or a rock n roll nigger? How do Black people find their voice in hegemonic spaces? Filled with humor and a quick course on Punk 101, James delivers a message that still resonates today.

If you are interested in SCREENING the film, or scheduling an ARTIST TALK with a 40 minute slide show on the history of AfroPunk and DIY punk culture, please be in touch.  


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