Black Nerds, Black Cool, and Afrofuturism

Troy L. Wiggins

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A little while back I dropped a link to a series of essays published a few years ago in the Social Text Journal’s Afrofuturism issue. The essays were (and as far as I can tell, still are) free to view, even without access to credentials from an institute of higher education.

I’ve finally gotten a chance to read a few of the essays. One in particular stood out to me: Ron Eglash’s Race, Sex, and Nerds: From Black Geeks to Asian-American Hipsters, a 2002 examination of nerdiness and nerd culture and how that identification is influenced by race and gender. Eglash’s paper is interesting because it presents a historical examination of nerdiness and creates a definitive framework in which to examine how blackness and otherness fits into the nerd paradigm–and also how blackness and otherness, by their natures and the natures assigned to them, don’t quite fit int the…

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