Black and Nerdy: Blerd Club brings Black nerd culture to Indy
Grab your light saber, hop inside your Tardis and make your way to Blerd Club Indy. The new club aims to gives Black nerds a place to safely and openly geek out about their fandoms.
Raymond Baxter, the director of Indiana Black Expo’s Youth Media Institute, is the visionary behind Blerd Club Indy. He feels that this club is a great first step toward getting America to notice the diversity inside the Black community.
“Black people of the 21st century are not a monolith,” Baxter said. “I wanted to do something that appeals to a niche audience. Blerd is the combination of Black and nerd to create our own culture inside of nerdom and fandom. When I found that culture, I gravitated toward it.”
Baxter said he thinks it’s important for “blerds” to have a place where they feel safe, because sometimes there is hostility toward them in the dominant nerd culture.
“When you are Black and you want to talk about this stuff, you are met with resistance from white nerds. They are like, ‘What are you doing here?’ The perception is that we are all cool and we can dance and that we cannot be isolated or awkward. They are shocked that we read books and watch television programs that are not about gangsters and hip-hop. We can like everything; we are not different,” said Baxter.
The first meeting of Blerd Club Indy will be on Thursday, Dec. 15, at 5 p.m. at the Indiana Black Expo office. This event is open to all ages. After meeting up for food and trivia, the group will travel to the IMAX Theater in downtown Indy for an early screening of “Rogue One,” the newest film in the Star Wars franchise. Tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite for $16 using the code “YMIfcn2016.” Search “Rogue One Blerd Club Indy” on Facebook for a direct link to the Eventbrite listing.
Baxter said he hopes the Blerd club will inspire Black businesses and organizations to create more programs and content for Black nerds.
“This first event is just our coming out party. The goal of these events is to show that there are people here who want this type of programming. Blerd Club Indy is a way to show Indy that we exist. I want a place to bring in Black geeks and cosplayers in a Black space. People will see how dynamic and passionate Blerds are.”
Baxter said people who may not consider themselves Blerds should come out to experience something new.
“We have 30 people committed to attending. It’s OK to support groups like this openly. It’s OK to be a nerd; no one will beat us up. I really want Black people to come out for the cause.”
The Indiana Black Expo and Blerd Club Indy, in partnership with IMAX Theater, is sponsoring an early-bird viewing of “Rogue One.” This event is for dedicated fans of the Star Wars franchise who want to experience it before the masses. Blerd Club Indy’s goal is to provide a place for Black nerds to come together, share together and be themselves together.
Special Screening of “Rogue One” with Blerd Club Indy
Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016.
Meet at Indiana Black Expo headquarters
3145 N. Meridian St., #100, Indianapolis, IN 46208
Use code “YMIfcn2016” to purchase tickets on Eventbrite.