The Afro Punk movement; an outspoken subculture grows

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

Though often overlooked or seen as contradictions to the norm, members of the Afro Punk community could soon be headed the direction they never expected — mainstream.

Growing numbers of African American youth are following the leads of pop artists and celebrities and adopting Afro Punk fashions. Meanwhile, long-time practitioners in the Afro Punk movement are growing into the stability of life in their late 30s and early 40s and, as they settle down and have families, are cultivating interests in missions to respond to the angst in the music from their youth, with sustainable food programs, plans to encourage others to buy locally grown or crafted products and projects to combat stereotypes.

Perhaps for the first time, and with observable maturity, the movement is getting organized. Elements of the culture permeate popular music and fashion and the list of areas in which Afro Punk can be seen is only growing.

Soon, the mainstream will have to find a way to answer the question: What is Afro Punk?

Julia Mayes reports for