Gosh it’s fun being a nerd; keeping up with shows, collecting, cosplaying, the works. There’s something for everyone, really, and it’s a growing community. Recently, it’s becoming more well-known that nerds come in all shapes and sizes, races, genders, and sexualities. As a Black man, it’s been a great time for us. With people like John Boyega, Idris Elba, and Donald Glover being put into (or considered for) movie roles more frequently, our place in nerd-dom is being solidified more everyday! However, the hurdle for Black women seems to be a little harder to clear. This could be said of all women, but intersectionality makes it especially difficult for Black women. In a sense, Black women and girls are seen as sort of an anomaly in geeky/nerdy spaces. Luckily, there is a growing push for supporting these fans with this week’s Web Crush: Black Girl Nerds.
Created and run by Jamie Broadnax (with the support of other contributing writers), the blog exists to support Black girls in nerdy spaces and to support the idea that they exist in the first place. The main way Broadnax achieves this is by hosting pieces about the similar nerdy topics everyone writes through a Black woman’s perspective. She doesn’t just write about the news stories all the other sites cover; she often seeks out lesser told stories such as new comic creators, and African superhero comics.
But other than just reporting and critiquing news, the site also hosts opinion pieces digging deeper into phenomena surrounding the intersection of being a Blerd. (You know, a Black nerd.) While this typically dips into the joy of Black characters getting some spotlight, there are articles about Black girls being in the quirky aesthetic and the intersection of Black women and nerdy music.
She also hosts livetweet events for running nerdy shows, like The Flash, Green Arrow, and Supergirl (as well as shows more focused on Black casts, like Scandal and Empire). Besides being a fun time, this is a huge opportunity for community reinforcement. Essentially, these live tweet events showcase that Black Nerds, especially women, exist and are passionate about these shows. Other than livetweets, Jamie tweets about current events in the nerdy, Black, and intersecting fan spaces. She also tweets (ahem, fangirls) about some attractive male celebrities, which, contrary to popular opinion, doesn’t take away from the impact or articulateness of her other discussions. It’s further proof that no group of nerds is monolithic or singularly focused.
The site also hosts a podcast, if that’s more your flavor. The show follows the same theming and features guests in various creative and nerdy sectors. This format is especially helpful as it gives the guests a voice, quite literally. There are also some engaging interviews in the archive. It is definitely worth the look! The cast can range from lighthearted to serious, so there is something for everyone.
Altogether, Black Girl Nerds is proving to be a useful and excellent catalyst of support in the Black Nerd community. Visiting the site will give you some insight to these experiences and following the Twitter account, @BlackGirlNerds, is both fun and interesting. We need more people like this, and Jamie leads a great example! Check out Black Girl Nerds today!