Celebrating Black History Month Through Fandom
Check out a list of Black fan creators we've been geeking out over.
From the first televised interracial kiss on Star Trek to the record-breaking success of Black Panther, much of the great geek history of our modern era is Black history.
Though fandom has historically been represented as “unrelentingly white” in media (the Weird Al song “White and Nerdy” comes to mind), Black fans–and fans of color broadly–have played a significant role in shaping pop culture and the traditions of fan creativity we know today.
At Remarkist, we’re celebrating Black History Month and the Black creators, artists, and fans whose content we geek out to all year long. These are just a handful of our favorites:
Black Nerds Create
Formerly Black Girls Create, BNC is a community and content hub that explores fandom criticism and creativity through the lens of Black experiences. This Black nerdy collective is celebrating “all things Black and magical” with their Black Magical History Month campaign, which has featured various social media challenges, fantasy reading focused on Black authors, and community events, including a viewing of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever on February 25. And with a few Lord of the Rings fans on our team, we can’t help but geek out over “Tolkien Black Folks,” BNC’s podcast series where four Black Nerds explore the Tolkien legendarium together.
If you love a pop culture breakdown via YouTuber, you’ll enjoy the videos of Princess Weekes, a vlogger and writer who “talks about pop culture, race, feminism, and other social issues with a lot of nuance and profanity.” Her channel spans everything from comics to Sex and the City to true crime… and yes, she’s even got some Gilmore Girls hot takes. A former PBS host and writer for The Mary Sue, Weekes’ media criticism has a fandom of its own.
If you prefer the art of cosplay, you can check out @blackwomenincostume, an Instagram account run by creator Jazmin Butler. Featuring original content and hashtagged looks from #BlackWomenInCostume, this Insta highlights the benefits of cosplay, from the fun of creating something transformative to stepping outside of your comfort zone. Whether you’re a Disney Adult, really into Wednesday, a classic Flintstones fan, or ready to Bring It On, @blackwomenincostume runs the gamut.
We love a deep-dive, and JustLatasha is a YouTube creator who does scene-by-scene dissections of media by Black artists. From Insecure to HBO’s Watchmen to Beyoncé, JustLatasha is a screenwriter who guides viewers through any watch experience with thoughtful commentary and criticism. Her entire catalog of work can be found on her website!
Amazon Prime Video’s Anime Club
If you know what a “weeb” is, you’re in the right place. Resident Weeb Cheyenne Ewulu hosts Amazon Prime Video’s Anime Club, a series about all things anime on Amazon Prime. Our favorite videos include a nostalgic look back at classic 00s anime and a hilarious game of drawing Pokémon from memory (Meowth was done dirty, but we digress).
The Black Guy Who Tips
The husband and wife creator team Rod and Karen Morrow are the hosts of The Black Guy Who Tips, a daily podcast where they discuss news, politics, and pop culture—always with a healthy dose of comedy. The two were influential in popularizing the hashtag #DemThrones during the last few seasons of Game of Thrones. On Black Twitter, commenters used it to highlight moments from the series that uniquely spoke to its Black audience. Rod and Karen have over 2400 episodes of their podcast in their catalog, and it’s been in production for about a decade! In a relatively new medium, we can count The Black Guy Who Tips as formative to the popularity of the podcast phenomenon.
Blerd Without Fear!
YouTube creator Ernie is the Blerd Without Fear. In his videos on his very popular page, you will find passionate reviews and breakdowns of all things comics: the content of the comics themselves, movie adaptations, events being hosted throughout the comics-fandom space—book releases, conventions, and more! It’s hard not to be swept up by Ernie’s enthusiasm from the jump—he has an infectious energy that keeps viewers glued to his hot takes. Ernie also gets into analyzing lesser-discussed superheroes and villains, and he provides a wealth of insights into BIPOC characters in these stories.
A team of Black nerd creators (including Ernie at Blerd Without Fear!) run Blerd.com, a streetwear and media company for nerds and gamers. They design, manufacture, and sell in-house apparel that reflects the Black nerd experience. Their site provides links to their gaming Discord and blog, as well as the largest directory of Black nerd businesses in freaking existence, known as the Blerd Business Community! This list includes apparel companies, gaming communities, conventions, and more. Use it to find all sorts of cool swag, from phone cases to t-shirts to enamel pins. It’s a fantastic resource for anyone looking to find Black nerd content or creators in the space to support.
And remember, Black History (and Black Present and Black Future!) is something to be celebrated all year round.
Whether it’s cosplay, anime, magical book clubs, pop culture criticism, or something else fannish you seek, you can find (and create!) your fandom community on Remarkist.
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