Black White Man

My mother is black, and my father is white. I walk among you.

Archive for December, 2012

Rise of the Black Nerd (via CNN)

I’m the very proud son of a Black scientist. My older sister is a Black filmographer. And, I’m a Black computer professional, not to mention a huge fan of comics books, video games and Dungeons & Dragons. I’ve heard a lot of talk the last couple of years about the so-called Black Nerd. I love it. I don’t really put a lot of stock into it. I think that it’s really just a synergy between the general zeitgeist, nerds and “in” right now, and the eternal coolness of the Black experience in America. There’s been a certain image of a Black Intellectual for a long time in America. The likes of Malcolm X defined the political intellectual. Langston Hughes and his contemporaries showed the artistic type intellectual. And of course, you’ve got George Washington Carver, a real Renaissance Man. But the more narrow “nerd” type — the math-class, pocket-protector, 4-eyed type — seems to have been applied to Black folk more often more recently.

I credit Wu Tang for being the first Black nerds, at least that I was aware of growing up. I loved that they were hard core rappers, but they loved comic books and played chess, and were fans of Chinese kung fu movies and Japanese samurai dramas, just like me and my friends. More recently, of course, there’s Donald Glover who’s quoted in the above clip. I would also add Key and Peele, among many many others. Among the more hard core nerds, there’s of course, Neil Degrasse Tyson, who puts us all to shame with his uber-nerddom. To all of these, and more, I salute you!