Many American music festivals today struggle to stand apart. Afropunk is not one of them. Based on a 2003 documentary by James Spooner, the annual event was originally meant to shine a light on a burgeoning community of black musicians in the overwhelmingly white punk and hardcore movement. It has since expanded its palate into an exploration of the black diaspora, leaning more heavily into soul, R&B, and hip-hop while also launching festivals in Atlanta, London, Johannesburg, and Paris.
The theme of this year’s event, which took place Aug. 24 and 25, was We See You, and featured headlining performances by Jill Scott, FKA Twigs, and Kamasi Washington, as well as a surprise set by Alicia Keys. EW sent photographer Flo Ngala to Commodore Barry Park to document it all.