Blerd culture is blowing up.
If Blerd culture was a rap group, we’d have millions of plays on SoundCloud and YouTube. Our studio hotline would bling nonstop, because every A&R from every major label would have one goal – sign the golden goose. All of our shows would be sold out and we’d have millions of followers on social media.
The hype is electric and the anticipation is way, way, way up.
2016 is the year of the Blerd. And yet, everyone on the outside looking in has the same question burning in their minds. Why?
This community of “Black Nerds” was organized from the growing necessity for accurate representation. The moniker “Blerd” wasn’t always a term we agreed on. But, we made it work. As @GeekSoulBrother says on his blog,
“Calling yourself a blerd doesn’t mean you want to separate from anything. It only means that you are telling the world that you want to still identify with the part of you that makes you ‘black’.”
And @SLPruitt told us on The Mary Sue, “…being a geek and being black aren’t mutually exclusive.”
There was a collective need for need for togetherness to celebrate and share the things we love, and the talented people that dedicate their time to make them come alive. Spaces like Black Girl Nerds created by @JamieBroadnax, We Are Wakanda, and many others have filled the void, strengthening our sense of community online and off. Any time there is a concentration of energy that large it makes waves and the movement becomes more visible. People are paying attention. More Black characters will be on the small and large screens this year than there have been since the inception of the new comic book/sci-fi/fantasy era. A new diverse class of directors, writers, and artists are getting the chance to use their gifts for our entertainment. More articles, interviews, and conversations will be had about blackness and representation in film, tv and print.
And these things are good.
The mark of success is growth. My column, Strictly 4 My Blerds is about growth through awareness.
I only have three goals:
- To give the community more quality content highlighting the characters and stories happening now.
- To provide casual fans with more context that is easily digestible and will help inform the way they understand, and participate in the culture.
- To uplift the people that go to work everyday and make the culture come to life.
Let’s make 2016 a “Sweet Christmas”. *drops mic*