ActivismBrooklynWe See You

afropunk soldier of the day: fabiola charles

September 20, 2019
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AFROPUNK ARMY is the central hub for volunteering, social justice, awareness and action. AP ARMY acts as a catalyst for social movements and organizations tackling critical issues dismantling our communities globally.

Name: Fabiola Charles
Age: 40
What gender pronoun do you prefer? She/her/hers
City: Brooklyn
Follow @: @fabi07a, @fabi07a
3 hashtags that describe you: #melaninpoppin #beachbum #teamgreedy
Name one of your hidden talents or secret skills that no one would ever guess you had? Cry on demand.
What does AFROPUNK mean to you? Blackness celebrated: dope music, dope people, dope vibes.
What does #WESEEYOU mean to you? Mainstream media tries to ignore us or dictate who we are. Afropunk said Nah. We see you as you are, beautiful, fierce and worthy..
What was your last revolutionary act? Starting self-defense classes (Krav Maga)
What or who do you fight for? Why? Little Black girls that look like me, especially dark-skinned ones, that need to hear that they are ENOUGH. This message, ingrained in them early, will arm them against negative messages/haters that come their way.
When Mercury is in reggaeton, how do you protect your peace? LOL. I dance it out, I eat well and exercise. I spend time with people I love.
What does being unapologetically Black mean to you? Not being worried about how “Becky” feels when I share my opinion or defend myself. I am not an ABW, I am a woman that has the right to express myself and demand respect. I don’t have to shrink or dim my light so that you don’t feel threatened. I can also wear my hair big enough to block your view at the movies, if I want to. Say something.
Describe your journey with AFROPUNK. How have you used AP as a microphone for your passions, interests and/or service? I volunteered on Saturday and Sunday of the Brooklyn festival and shared highlights like dope performances (Jill Scott and Lianne La Havas were my top faves), cool outfits and the Hair Village. I showcased the beauty and complexity of Blackness. I also shared a pic taken by #drielycarter that perfectly captured my external beauty juxtaposed with my internal turmoil — the fire raging inside of me. I want to create and share Black stories. AFROPUNK inspired me to continue on my path to doing that. I loved the Rock N Read tent, btw!
When do you feel the most visible? At festivals like Curlfest and AFROPUNK where I am not an “other.” In spaces where my beauty is the norm, not the exception. In my sister circle of friends.
Who is your favorite woman in herstory — past or present? That’s hard. Rosa Parks (I met her once!), Billie Holiday, Maya Angelou, and of course Oprah. All of these women inspire me in different ways but they each faced adversity or persecution and came out stronger because of it. They made herstory and have paved the way for me to do the same someday.
What does having access/a seat at the table mean to you? “Diversity is being invited to the party; Inclusion is being asked to dance.” Having a seat to me is being offered a plate or access to the buffet to make a plate myself.
If you could have a conversation with any Black figure, who would it be and why? Maya Angelou, I want her words of wisdom in that deep voice. I need her to get me all the way together.
How has art helped you heal? Music has divine healing power. So many artists have gotten me through breakups, scary firsts like moves to new cities, new jobs, family issues, etc.
What does a safer space look like to you? A space where I don’t feel threatened by being myself — loud, silly, Black and proud.