ActivismSex & Gender

afropunk bk: the carefree (and critical) black girl

August 25, 2018

With this year’s theme as The People Resist, we chatted to Afropunk Brooklyn 2018 attendees about being carefree as an act of resistance and self-love. Sharing expressions of the Carefree Black Girl —a movement that forefronts joyous and carefree Black women and girls, while subverting stereotypical mainstream representation of Black women women— we extend on the concept of the popular hashtag by finding out what it means to be a carefree and critical or joyous and analytically engaged in the world around us.

By Stefanie Jason for AFROPUNK

photo by Florian Koenigsberger

Lilo Allen and Shae Roberts

Lilo: “It’s about being myself on my own terms. I pay the bills for my creativity, and being able to do what I love fulfills me, and that’s what being a carefree Black girl means to me.”

Shae: “Carefree Blackness means to redefine Blackness every day by changing something about society and challenging its expectations.”

photo by Florian Koenigsberger

Uzo Ejikeme, Stoney Michelli and Candice Lawrie

Uzo: “I’m wearing this Black Magic tee because it’s messaging is so powerful and represents tapping into our roots, what makes us special and Black! Ultimately Carefree Black Girl is about living your truth, being bold and honoring your path.”

photo by Florian Koenigsberger

Dara D, @chocolatecitytees

“Being a carefree Black girl means that we’re just able to be, without being burdened by everything going on in the world around us. We’re still gonna fight but we need the balance of freedom too.”

photo by Florian Koenigsberger

JT, @neferteeca

“Carefree means doing whatever I want without any boundaries. It also means, for me personally, paying attention to what I’m doing to set an example for young and critical Black girls.”

photo by Florian Koenigsberger

Ci$$, @cisstheartist

“I have colorful hair —it’s green and yellow, and wear what some term my style, ‘rock and roll,’ which isn’t what people expect a Black girl to do. But I proudly do it anyway. So for me, the movement means not being afraid to do things outside of our cultural norms.”

photo by Florian Koenigsberger

Jari Jones, @iamjarijones

“For me, being a carefree and critical Black girl means walking in my authenticity, and being unapologetic, flamboyant and proud as a Black trans girl. It also means resistance to the norm in a society where people try to deny you of your identity and being true to who you are.”

photo by Florian Koenigsberger

Ashleigh Reddy, @stayreddy

“To me, being a carefree Black girl means expressing yourself in an authentic way. Being able to be you without having to worry about any backlash, like getting fired from your job or being shunned by society for just doing what comes naturally to you.”

photo by Florian Koenigsberger

Dominique Norman and Dee Williams

Dominique: “Embodying Blackness in everything you do, that’s what being a carefree and critical Black girl means to me. Plus never subscribing to Eurocentric standards of beauty.”

Dee: “The carefree Black girl movement means Not subscribing to society’s standards.”