Trendy Report: AfroPunk Hair Proves to be Enduringly Rad

Thanks to Blue Ivy Carter, the offspring of Jay-Z and Beyonce, natural hair is back in the headlines (not that it ever wasn’t a hot topic), but this week has been quite hectic, mainly due to the backlash heaped on a toddler who is no doubt richer than all of her critics combined.

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Last Sunday, Queen Bey (love calling her that!), left us speechless at the VMAs, when she not only accepted her well-deserved Video Vanguard Award, but also treated us to a mini-concert. As always, she was effortlessly Flawless, and when her daughter and husband joined her onstage, it appeared that we were looking at a family that was pretty darn close to perfection.

But later that night, things went virally wrong, Right on cue, the “natural hair policy reformists” staged a coup by dumping (you know what), all over a moment that should have remained untainted. Her hair has been classified as “unruly”, “unkempt”, “uncombed” “nappy” – with some even referencing a strong resemblance to what “Buckwheat” sported when he was frolicking with his friends.

No matter what side of the fence you claim, you have to admit that it is in extremely poor taste to subject a small child to a barrage of insults based on your own personal inconsistencies, or dare I say insecurities.

Ironically enough, the same day MTV honored Jay-Z’s better half, was also the day Brooklyn celebrated the tenth annual Afropunk Festival. It was a playground overflowing with non-conforming chaos. The scene would have made Beyonce’s little girl skip for joy because she would have been wholeheartedly embraced. Everything from braids to locs to free-flowing curls, there was no shortage of eclectic foreplay at Commodore Barry Park.

The moving images were vibrant enough o catch the attention of Awol Erizku, a self-reflective artist, who was lucky enough to indulge in the reverie of the occasion. With the help of his trusty camera, Erizku, captured each of the subjects in whimsical poses, proudly showing off their contribution to a movement that refuses to bow down to systematic tendencies and stringent regulations.

The full collection is ready for viewing at, but we managed to steal a few of the highlights. It is always refreshing to be reminded that hair is an accessory that demands fun and innovation.

In honor of Blue Ivy and all who understand and value the ideals attached to self-realization and the power of individualism – enjoy the portraits below as they translate the true meaning of  Afropunk.


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