As if growing up a nerd isn’t hard enough, growing up black and nerdy, often called a Blerd, is a particularly unique experience.
Cliché depictions of blackness in popular culture often neglect the diversity of being black. Blerds know the struggle of identifying more with Tuvok or Geordi LaForge, rather than rap stars or basketball players. There’s also the challenge of not feeling black enough or nerdy enough for either identity. However, black nerds aren’t one dimensional, and are clearly aware of the ways race intersects with geek culture.
In theory, the unique experience may be due to the questionableness of the blackness as a nerd. Here are 5 stereotypes that need to be broken because they cloud the desirability about blerds.
- They are weird.
Thanks to poor depictions of blerds in cartoons and sitcoms, they have been seen as weirdos who collect bugs. Thankfully some people stepped out of their comfort zone to realize blerds are people too.
- They are weak.
In January 2017, a segment of BK CHAT (via YouTube) featured black women favoring their affection for bad boys. They referenced that blerds are weaklings who could not stand up for themselves. They may live in hostile environment and want protection. Sadly, blerds are bullied and must endure the pain, but really they are mentally strong because they are the ones fighting to be black excellence in spaces where they are not wanted in.
- They are not “black enough.”
Blerds are bullied in grade school and have to constantly have to prove their blackness. Unfortunately, lots of time popular black boys, who might like DragonBall Z and Naruto, have to hide their nerd-ness and live in hyper-masculinity. In other instances, they are called out for sounding and acting white. Yes, most nerds love all cultures, but should not be shamed for it.
- They don’t date black people.
To each blerd is their own, but a lot of blerds do seem to prefer Asian or white women. Even blerds in Men’s Rights Organizations do the same, but in some regards, they are not living up to hyper-masculinity or blackness, and some are anti-black because of their rejection. The goal is to persuade and compromise because they are both fighting the same battle.
- They bring shame.
Blerds are often accused of falsifying a relationship. A lot of times the other person is ashamed to be seen publicly with a blerd.
Blerd culture is not something to fear…Blerds are just as black, cool, fun and social as everyone else.