I am a proud Blerd.
What is a Blerd? A Black person that is a nerd.
I knew Greek myths before I learned who Snow White was. I was watching anime before it became cool to do so. My favorite anime series are still Sailor Moon and Inyusasha. I have told a few people that I went the apolypse happens I was going to be Sailor Saturn. No take backs. With my closest friends and kids we are known as The Avengers! My best friend is Romanov and I am still Jean Grey.
Black children who are intelligent are not trying to be White. If anything, they are learning to Code Switch early!
There needs to be a confidence for Black children that desire to learn and cosplay! In the age of Black Panther being one of the most popular movie in the MCU, the impact of that is immeasurable! One of the great things about reading is that it exposes you to the world around which may have been invisible before then!
I still love reading, learning and am elated that my youngest daughter loves Hamilton (potential theatre nerd!) an my old loves Princess Shuri (Comic/Tech nerd!). I mean, the smartest characters in the Marvel Universe are Black girls! I still plan on going to ComiCon and dressing up! Who is about to stop me? With that said, did you know Black people cosplay/LARP more than anyone else? It makes sense if you think about it! We are one of the most creative groups of people on the planet! With that said, stop saying that the Black people whom decide to cosplay are the ‘Black versions’ of the character they are dressing up as! I tell you this as well, I’m trying to LARP as Hinata too! And I love Hermione!
Allow your children to dress up and pretend to be what they watch! Let them be creative! Let them explore the world through The Arts and watch what happens to them! Even Afeni Shakur (the mother of Tupac!) saw that, and lived her life accordingly–empowering the children she taught! Allow the adults that you know to be great and dress up! I mean, who are you to tell them they are ‘trying to be White.’ Stop perpetuating the lie of white supremacy by saying what Black people cannot do and cannot be! Stop making fun of Black folk that are only doing what they love and like to do! What you need to be pressed about is why you think it is okay to go ahead and perpetuate white supremacy, confining folk that look like you to a box with no way out!
We are dynamic. We are incredible. We can be all that we want…and for the other things? We dress up and still make it happen.
[image from Afropunk.com, Popsugar UK, mymodernmet.com]