My Patron Saints of Black Girl Geekdom

We all have those characters. Maybe she was the first black girl you ever witnessed having actual lines on a sci-fi show. Maybe it was her presence that let you know that girls like you could exist in those worlds.

Often their roles are small but in the color-starved oasis of genre television, the appearance of such characters can feel life-affirming for marginalized viewers. These are the characters whose stories have meant the most to me and who I clung to during a rocky adolescence. Their images would be preserved in the stained glass windows of my black girl nerd temple if I had one. They’re kinda like my patron saints, I guess; like, to the point where I’ve mentally planned the black and white half-sleeve I’d get of them if I wasn’t afraid of needles, but that’s another story.

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When did you first know you were a nerd?

Definitions are funny things. There are endless debates over the difference between nerds and geeks. Personally, I couldn’t care less; whether I say nerd or geek, you know what I mean. Someone linked me to an article from 2010 that asked a question that I just can’t stop contemplating: when did you first know? Whether you prefer to call yourself a nerd or a geek, when did you first know that you consumed media just a little bit differently than the average consumer?

Continue reading “When did you first know you were a nerd?”