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Blerd is a portmanteau of "black nerd". Blerd describes people of color who enjoy things nerdy and geek regardless of gender, skin tone, sexuality, etc. The term became popular during 2006 when Donald Faison aka Turk stated he was a blerd in season 6, episode 2 of Scrubs titled “My Best Friend’s Baby’s Baby and My Baby’s Baby.” Since then, it has become a popular term among the poc nerd community.
Why Blerd? Representation Matters. Quite simply, blerds were not traditionally shown in the media and have had little representation in pop culture. Not only that, but when the intersection of African American and nerd culture come together, sometimes we see or describe things a bit differently. Blerds tend to add their own bit of flavor to the mix when talking about all things nerdy.
Calling yourself a blerd doesn’t mean you want to separate from anything. It only means that you are telling the world that you want to still identify with the part of you that makes you ‘black’
— Geek Soul Brother
Blerd People Example
- Levar Burton actor of Star Trek, may be the greatest blerd of all time and he might quite literally be the reason you are able to see this article term.
- Nichelle Nichols actress of Star Trek, she was a groundbreaking role-model for black women -- Martin Luther King Jr convinced her how important the role would be for the culture. Nichelle also helped recruit astronauts and influenced Mae Jemison to join NASA.
- Billy Dee Williams actor of Star Wars Trilogy, is also a talented singer and songwriter and was one of the first black nerds to bring the cool factor.
- Whoopi Goldberg actress of Star Trek: The Next Generation and one of the few entertainers with an EGOT [Emmy, Grammy, Academy Award, and Tony) and only the second black woman to win an Academy Award.
- Alfonso Ribeiro actor of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, he is a talented dancer and our younger readers probably know him best as “the guy from the Carlton Fornite dance.”