Sigh….can I just tell you that sometimes it gets so damn tiring being a Black person in America. I know, I know, everyone has their cross to be bear but damn it! I feel like as a Black person, it’s some sort of surprise that guess that we aren’t a monolith. I mean sure Barack Obama is president and yeah, he’s our first Black president but guess what? That doesn’t mean all Black people like him, shit some of us didn’t even vote for him. I mean take Lloyd Marcus, that brotha is a damn member of the Tea Party.
Of course ever since the Obamas moved into that big white house, the media seems positively infatuated with all things Black, of course if one believed the hype they would have you to believe we are more fucked up than most. After all Black women can’t get men, we spend too much on our hair, all the Black men are in jail and shit we must all be thugs, thugettes, or Jezebels!
So I imagine when the mainstream media learned that there are Black nerds, well…they just had to let everyone know it! Imagine that Black nerds! However us Black nerds have always been here, in fact some folks I have known online for over a decade created the popular Black Nerds Unite t-shirts back in 2004. Black nerds can be found any and everywhere, hell we skateboard; we dig on punk rock music, we even have the ever fabulous Afro-Punk festival that I must get to one day.
Let me tell you though, coming of age in the 1980’s finding fellow Black nerds was hard to do. I came of age just as the rap and hip hop genres were blowing up. Don’t get me wrong, my first concert back in 1980-something was Public Enemy, but I loved my rock music and my new wave music. In high school, my folks were very concerned about my penchant for wearing my dead grandpa’s trench coat paired with a pair of combat boots. I loved groups like Nitzer Ebb, Depeche Mode as well as Guns & Roses and KRS-1.
It was only in my late 20’s I learned there were other quirky Black girls like me, as we always say where were you when I was in high school? It’s okay because we have found each other now! I love though that unlike my teen/young adult years when I felt unsure of myself because I read a lot, wore unfashionable duds, listened to “white” music and was pretty damn nerdy, that today’s young Black nerds are out and proud! My own son who is better known by his musical moniker Milo is just one example of today’s Black nerd (yeah, I know the kid’s half white but I’m his Mama and I’m claiming his Blackness) and he is happy and out with his nerd-dom.
So to my pals in the media, step off with these same tired tropes of blackness in America, blackness doesn’t mean we live in a box.