10 Women Tell Us What Resistance Looks Like At AFROPUNK Fest Brooklyn 2017

Denise Benitez

Find out how woke these AFROPUNK attendees were.

In a climate of political disarray, we went to the most woke summer music festival to pick the brains of intelligent black women. The lesson they gave us on resistance was deep and profound. 


1 of 10 Denisse Benitez

"Confidence and strength, and stillness in representing what you are representing. I feel like resistance is nothing that can be moved because whatever is original is not meant to be moved. I feel like resistance is standing in your truth."

2 of 10 Denisse Benitez

"Never giving up, continuously trekking, no matter what gravity or what forces are coming against you. That's why we have this. This [Afropunk] is resistance, embracing natural, embracing shades and ethnic, like queerness and eccentricism and all of that. That's resistance, not fitting the mold, and if we do choose to fit the mold, it's because we choose to, not because they forced us to."

3 of 10 Denisse Benitez

"You can do anything to resist persecution, oppression —all of these things that are tying to keep you under. And I feel like you see that in black people all the time. I feel like we focus more on what we lost, but really it's about the beauty to come out of our oppression."

4 of 10 Denisse Benitez

"As a woman who's trying to still navigate the corporate structures, corporate America, resistance is kind of being able to still be successful in that space without becoming completely assimilating into the culture. Corporate America has its craziness, and it's ups and downs, and it definitely has a distinct way of doing things. I'm trying very hard to still be successful without necessarily becoming part of that system, and just remembering where I come from. In order to change it, somethings you've got to be a part of it —playing to that duality."

5 of 10 Denisse Benitez

"Resistance feels like passion. When I think of resistance I think of Lauryn Hill songs that talk about passion and pushing through adversity. It's about having a passion, despite adversity."

6 of 10 Denisse Benitez

"Power. It's f--king embracing your roots, who you are, where you come from. Loving yourself first, you know, and just embracing you and us as a whole generation, as a whole color and everything that makes you unique."

7 of 10 Denisse Benitez

"It's looking something in the face and telling it, 'I'm still gonna go. I'm not gonna stop.'"

8 of 10 Denisse Benitez

"Resistance for me is I'm resisting doing other people's work. Particularly resisting doing white folk's work. What's going on right now is their chance to work out their history and save their humanity —I'm just making pretty pictures of black girls."

9 of 10 Denisse Benitez

"What resistance looks to me is taking a stand for what you believe in, but also empowering others to speak up and share their voice."

10 of 10 Denisse Benitez


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