Brooklyn’s Afropunk festival is back

Go to www.afropunkfest.com to learn about all the events that surround the concerts at the Afropunk Festival.

Where were you a year ago this weekend? If you lived in one of the five boroughs, you were probably holed up in your apartment, hiding from Hurricane Irene. That was also the case for the organizers of Brooklyn’s Afropunk festival, who first had to make the heartbreaking decision to cancel the event.

“We were literally in the park and it was all built and we had to pull it all out,” says Matthew Morgan, who co-founded the Afropunk organization in 2002. Canceling the two-day event nearly crushed the group because of the amount of expenses Mean Irene racked up. Taking such a hit left the coordinators discouraged and just a bit heartbroken.

“When something like that happens, you ask yourself, as I do every year, ‘Why are we doing this?’” Morgan says. “But we cobble it together and make it work because what it is, is bigger than us.”
Morgan and his colleagues founded the festival as a means of exposing city kids to a vibrant but underrepresented current of African-American culture.

“Initially I just wanted to put on shows because I couldn’t get shows for some of the bands that I was managing,” Morgan explains. “There wasn’t this platform for alternative black culture and it just made me mad.”

Situating the festival in Commodore Barry Park, which, Morgan notes, is sandwiched between two of the largest public housing projects in Brooklyn, the hope is that impressionable kids will have a mind-broadening experience when they enjoy not just the music, but the skate competition, art wall, thrift market, biker competition and newly added food trucks that are a part of the event.

“It was in a Jay-Z  song, where he talks about living 20 minutes from Central Park but not knowing that it existed. These kids have all this stuff around them — food truck festivals in Park Slope, parks and all this stuff in the city — they can be three blocks from it and not know that it exists,” Morgan says. “It’s really exciting to put all that in front of the 15, 16, 19 [and] 20 year olds and have them experience it for the first time.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.