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Monday, July 30, 2007

NewsFlash...Black Kids & Nerdom are Like Oil and Water....They Don't Mix...according to the NY Times

One of the key components to Afronerd as our readers are undoubtedly most aware entails a desire to debunk commonly held stereotypes. Fighting the black box should be our mantra if push comes to shove. We also try to question commonly held truths as absolutes. In simpler terms, irrespective of race, creed or lifestyle, one should not always assume something is valid just because it is culturally imposed. Case in point-as I have mentioned in entries past, the epithet "nigger" comes to mind as accepting something as a "fact" by way of cultural imposition. Riddle me this Blackman-Why exactly does a White person calling you nigga(er) burn more than a person of color using the term? I have often said that nigger is a White cultural invention and they have been known to get things wrong ever so often. Whites promulgated the notion that certain folks were witches during this country's inception. The introduction of a belief or a word into the nation's lexicon doesn't make it a fact-hence, the validity that being Black is antithetical to being a nerd. As this site proves, melanin and intelligence are not mutually exclusive.

Check out a snippet from a recent NY Times article that posits geekdom as alluding to a uber White aesthetic:

Though Bucholtz uses the term “hyperwhite” to describe nerd language in particular, she claims that the “symbolic resources of an extreme whiteness” can be used elsewhere. After all, “trends in music, dance, fashion, sports and language in a variety of youth subcultures are often traceable to an African-American source,” but “unlike the styles of cool European American students, in nerdiness, African-American culture and language [do] not play even a covert role.” Certainly, “hyperwhite” seems a good word for the sartorial choices of paradigmatic nerds. While a stereotypical black youth, from the zoot-suit era through the bling years, wears flashy clothes, chosen for their aesthetic value, nerdy clothing is purely practical: pocket protectors, belt sheaths for gadgets, short shorts for excessive heat, etc. Indeed, “hyperwhite” works as a description for nearly everything we intuitively associate with nerds, which is why Hollywood has long traded in jokes that try to capitalize on the emotional dissonance of nerds acting black (Eugene Levy saying, “You got me straight trippin’, boo”) and black people being nerds (the characters Urkel and Carlton in the sitcoms “Family Matters” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”).

For the Times article in its entirety, click on the link below:

Who’s a Nerd, Anyway?

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