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Afropunk Festival Revelers Talk Politics

Amid blaring music, dancing crowds and parading fashionistas, Afropunkers share insights on the current state of Black America.

Visual artist Sophia Dawson writes a tribute to those killed by police officers during the 2016 AfroPunk Music Festival at Commodore Barry Park. The event is a yearly celebration of Afrocentrism, multicultural otherness and experimentation that has closed out the summer months in Brooklyn, N.Y. for the past 11 years. Afropunk has become a palpable force in its own right and is considered the forefront of African-American creativity. The statements featured below are a few opinions on the current state of Black America. Elias Williams

Laura Walton, left: "We're going through a lot of changes that should've taken place a long time ago... Afropunk gives us an opportunity to talk about it face to face, rather than on social media, which a lot of people say hides the true leaders of the movement. And I feel like the actual leaders of the movement are at festivals like this."

Daria Harper, right: "I think we could use a little more unity as far as moving forward politically and economically... I feel we're a little bit too divided to make the proper moves we need in order to really reach a point of stability."

Elias Williams / for NBC News

"I think there have been improvements and there's also been some setbacks. But I think we're on the right path. We're still staying strong. We're gonna keep it going. This [Afropunk festival] is a good representation of how young black people are getting together. This next generation is not gonna stand for anymore bull."

-Idris Muhammed, Brooklyn, NY

Elias Williams

"We should be together as one. We should enjoy life, but also cut the violence. A lot of violence is going on and it's going on within us as a community. But if we get 'us' together then we can fight the other things to come."

-Langston Hawkins, Washington, D.C.

Elias Williams

"We have a renaissance going on right now. The current state of the black community is 'artist mode.' I've seen so many artists come up out of this. When there's a lot of crazy things going on... It's all about shifting it into a positive thing."

-Elijah Pryor, Queens, New York 

Elias Williams

"I'm scared. It feels like they're just killing us everyday. It's very scary to know you're being targeted... Afropunk, I love it. Once a year I get a chance to express myself. Within these two days I can really be myself and just feel free."

-Agnes, Prince George's County, Maryland 

Elias Williams

"We have a lot of problems right now with the police. There's need for a change now more than ever."

-Paperboy Prince, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Elias Williams / for NBC News

"Afropunk is culture, fashion and it's powerful."

-Goyo, Colombia 

Elias Williams

"I think we're in a period of awakening. The current threat upon our culture and our lives is only strengthening us."

-David J., Austin, Texas

Elias Williams / for NBC News

A festival attendee dances to the music at the Afropunk Festival in Brooklyn, NY.

Elias Williams / for NBC News