Growing up in the early 90’s was truly a story for the books. From escaping the hot summer days in the grasp of a good book to learning the many ways of beating my older cousin in Madden, I knew early on that my interest were not necessarily the same as the other children in the neighborhood. When I was about 10 or 11, my mother enrolled me in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) program at the local university for the summer. Of course, I groaned and moaned until the first time I laid my eyes on a circuit board.
One of my favorite projects that I completed that summer was soldering resistors to power a bright pink fan and spending lunch partnering with the other kids to put together a ratty notebook full of cheat codes so that the next time I faced my cousins, I would be ready. They still kicked my butt! I will say although I could never beat any other their high scores, it sparked a fire in me that there was a HUGE world of things other than barbies and easy bake ovens…and I wanted to discover ALL of it. Connecting with the other kids during the summer really opened me to a different world outside of what I saw in the streets of Washington DC.
It was that summer I embraced my geekdom and sought to connect with others who sought comfort in books and other ‘isms that deviated far from the norm.
The term “Blerd” has blown up in popular culture over the last 24 months. From major news sources like the Washington Post and NPR covering the evolution of Blerds, the term has grown from musings to a movement. Let’s start by defining what or who a Blerd is. The term “Blerd” tags an individual who identifies as a nerd who is of African American descent. A BLack-nERD.
The lovely ladies of Blerdology have taken the reins of the defining the science of blerds and dedicating each month to a nominated individual. We were introduced to the rise of the blerd through different mediums from websites like Black Girl Nerds to traditional media like television and radio. Issa Rae of Issa Rae productions brought out our inner awkwardness by creating the award winning web series “ The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl”. Donald Glover spoke of the struggles of the black nerd in his comedy routines and Melissa Harris Perry, a news pundit of MSNBC, proudly calls her weekend show “Nerdland”. Even Aisha Tyler showed us that nerdy knows no bounds as she donned a shirt with the saying “ I can kick your a** on Halo!”
We have seen a HUGE spark about the term but the stigma that follows the culture started long before the rise of the Blerd. I must admit straying from the trends of the norm of my friends in my generation was not an easy feat. I’m sure many Blerds will agree that before the movement began, there were not many outlets for us to indulge in our love for anime, technology and science. It’s the same story that many students tell of the struggle during the adolescent stage and striving for success. There are so many outlets to express yourself these days on and offline from meetups to conventions. I can’t wait to share them with you on this ride.
Are you a self proclaimed blerd? How do you express your blerdness? Let us know below!
Until next time, live long and prosper!
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