When you think of a nerd, there are probably a couple of things that come to mind.Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons,the guys from Big Bang Theory, Peter Parker,and that geeky guy with the bottle glasses, from every eighties film.Most people when they think of a nerd ,well ,their thoughts, seems to go toward …..white guys….and occasionally a very “nerdy looking” white girl with braces and pig tales.Not a short black chick with a fro(this is my description).Beyond Eurkel most people don’t tend to associate black people with nerd or geekdom.
Now you may or may not have heard about it, but a few years ago there was a spoof online campaign about how Donald Glover/Childish Gambino should play Spider-Man in the next Spider Man movie.A lot of (white) nerds got mad,it’s obvious to most, that Parker will ,obviously, always remain white in the main universe, but these people had to use some choice,racial language, to tell him, that this joke, wasn’t funny,and that Parker would never EVER be black.
One *nerd*(jerk would be a better word) said he just couldn’t be Peter Parker, because there ARE NO Black kids like Peter Parker.In an interview Gambino made a point of stating that even in this(it was 2011 at the time) day and age, some people just can’t believe there would be an a smart black orphan living with his aunt in Queens, who likes photography.Even if you’re a comic book purist you have to understand that Parker totally could have been any race, and that there kids like him of every ethnicity,minus you know ,superpowers and parents being agents working under Nick Furry.
…. …yeah… ….It stuck with him so much he even mentioned it in one of his songs.[“couldn’t see me as spider man but now I’m spittin’ vemon.”]
Blackness is often defined by stereotypes and misrepresentation of what all black culture must be like.Globally speaking, many people expect you(black person) to sing,dance,or be able to dribble or hit some kind of ball(all of which I am unable to do), or thanks to Hollywood and other media, many are under the impression that we all are scary and violent.Let’s be honest being black is not a monolithic experience,everyone has a different home life and different experiences ; thinking that we’re all the same is ridiculous. I’ve had men here(Korea) quiver in fear of my 5’4″ frame of solid steel, I am a black belt and all, but I mean, how would you know that….Do I exude mastery of martial arts…….to speak frankly, I’m a small girl, and the fact that I’ve made some grown men jump,well it bothers me,but who it should bother is them.It should bother anyone when you’ve made up in your mind how a whole set of diverse people are,and you made a gross idea of how a whole people group will act;the idea in your mind of this people group that you know little of brings you to the point of fear.It’s also ridiculously to be fearful for no reason.
Although we exist ,we aren’t often shown, we are a under represented minority of a minority
Growing up I could only remember seeing three black nerds on TV(cartoons),and I’ve watched a lot of shows.The three are Wade from Kim Possible, Static/Virgil Hawkins from Static Shock ,and Tucker from Danny Phantom,I’m sure there was more but those are the ones that come to mind for me.I can’t really remember any Black girl nerds as I grew up.
So why use the term blerd, don’t you feel like it’s putting you in a box?
…No, I do what I want, my fandoms are my fandoms,and not everything I do revolves around nerdinesss….well….OK, a big part of it does….I’m just a pretty nerdy person by nature.Using this term helps me to find other people who think like me,others who want to see more minorities in comic books and Hollywood.Others who sometimes question the casting of minorities withing mainstream movies.Others who want to change the representation of the female body in Hollywood, especially that of the black female body.Not only that, I’m now tied to a whole circuit that advertises independent minority based comic books.I don’t know how I would have found some of these great indie comics otherwise.Also there are awesome live podcast in which you can engage with people from all over,I’ve participated in some good chats about the nerdom,representations,movies;Some feature new and up coming artist and one even featured Taimak(Bruce Leroy from the Last Dragon) .Sometimes we just have fun, there’s #FridayNightHorror in which we just watch horror movies and tweet about them collectively.It’s really fun.It’s not to say that I don’t get involved with the whole nerd community,but I feel like it’s harder to grasp problems if they don’t necessarily involved you or if you never thought about it.
These are often problems that we the blerd community think of and just common blerd experiences, that you may or may not be aware off
You ever think about the fact that there are so few superhero cartoons for kids staring Black,Asian,or Hispanic characters.
Ever wondered why there are almost no mainstream Asian superheros.
The joy of finding a science-fiction shows with a mixed cast.
How hard it sometimes is to find three dimensional black characters(in any type of show).
Have you ever wondered why so few black comic book characters have natural hair?
or how hard it apparently is to draw natural hair?
Or the fact that your nerdiness is often misconstrued as trying to be/act white.
Being the only black person at a specific fandom event.
Thinking about the response of the Rue casting in the first Hunger Games film.
Or the “Ah you’re so quirky, you’re such an oreo”(Never call a black person an oreo)
Or the happiness you felt with Pokemon X/Y customization(THE UTTER JOY), so that for the first time ever,your trainer actually looks a little like you
Being the only black person in a comic book store.
Thinking on the casting of Storm from X-Men.
Crossing your fingers that the Big 2 will make more minority characters.
Hoping that Milestone 2.0 will be awesome.
Having people ask you why you’re cosplaying a character that isn’t black.
Wondering why all the races in space are blue, green and yellow, and yet people are surprised at a black Vulcan….
Looking at fantasy movies and trying to figure out, why everyone in a make believe world is white.
I mean really ,why are there like, no minorities in fantasy film worlds.
I mean to be honest a lot of the nerds I know ,that aren’t black(some) aren’t aware of some of this stuff,they grew up with super heroes and space captains who looked like them,so they never really though of questioning the system.It’s a different experience, but it’s our fandoms that bring us together.It is what we love that brings us together as nerds.
I’m a blerd because I’m a black nerd,I always have been.