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As you probably know, I’ve been on a huge Beyoncé kick in 2016. Starting with the release of “Formation” and her Super Bowl performance and reaching a pinnacle with the Formation World Tour, which I attended LAST NIGHT with The Spaniard.

The Formation World Tour may not technically qualify as a Geektivity, but I fangirl hard over Queen Bey and that’s reason enough to share the experience with you, dear reader.

Although I haven’t had nearly enough sleep at the moment–the  traffic in and out of Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego took us an hour both ways and definitely leaves something to be desired–seeing Queen Bey live is an experience I will never forget, so I guess I won’t complain about my 4 hours of sleep and early work morning. *yawn*

Here are my 3 impressions of the show.

The Bey Hive

Beyoncé is a masterful performer with skill and talent enough to rock a stadium of 5,000 people for an intense and powerful hour-plus of music and she kept the Spaniard and I and everyone around us on our feet the entire set. She has an authentic connection to her fans and seemed legitimately pleased by the response to certain songs, dance moves or moments in her performance. Honestly, her smile is like the sun, and when she grinned at her fans for singing along to lyrics or for cheering to a picture of her at 15 years old, it felt real and sweet. Also, her fans are so diverse–I saw queer couples as well as men and women of all ethnicities, including numerous black girls with natural hair and ethnic clothing. It was so wonderful to be at the mirror in the restroom next to 4 other women with hair that looked like mine–wild, frizzy, natural and free.

 

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I liken watching Beyoncé’s April 2016 visual album “Lemonade” to the first time I read Their Eyes Were Watching God or The Bluest Eye. There is that breathtaking moment when a text takes root inside a reader and becomes not a far-off interpretation of self to be filtered through societal constraints of race or gender, age or nationality, but simply a reflection, a perfect image of her, the audience member, found on the pages of a book, the lines of a poem or, in this case, the haunting images paired with powerful lyrics and music. “Lemonade” is the story of life, death and family—it is both simple and complex, relying on a rebirth and redemption narrative common in black art; yet it illustrates the unique experience of black feminism in the 21st century, inviting black women to unite and stand together in order to succeed—to take our lemons and to make lemonade.

It is February, which means Black History Month, which means all sorts of things, depending on who you ask. For me, BHM is a chance to get to know the work of some talented black creators that inspire us. Here are my top 5 favorite black girl geeks to follow on Twitter.

xoxo C. Diva

Hit me up over on Twitter and Tumblr for more content like this

1. Jamie Broadnax

Jamie B
imaged courtesy of BlackGirlNerds.com

Creator and Writer for one of our favorite affiliate blogs, Black Girl Nerds, Jamie Broadnax is committed to finding and sharing content relevant for black women who are into the same things that we are all into–like comics, cosplay, television and literature. Her Black Girl Nerd podcast is widely popular as is the content on the blog that she runs and currently, her site is promoting #29DaysofBlackCosplay, which you need to check out NOW if you’re into cosplay and general geekery.

Earlier this week, the Collectress addressed the issue of fan appropriation and writer intent in a letter to TPTB. If you haven’t read it, go do so, tweet it, and then come back.

I’ll wait.

So, we have established that, as members of a fandom, we have the power to interpret textual meaning and those interpretations are no less valid than those of other fans or the writers, producers and actors. What I want to address is parallel to the idea of fan shaming–it is nerd privilege.

meme cr: uproxx.com
meme cr: uproxx.com

The 21st century is proving to be The Time of the Nerd. A steady influx of geek culture into mainstream society in the last few years has given the marginalized a face, a voice and a style that has suddenly become cool. With thick-rimmed glasses all the rage, comic book characters played by gorgeous men and women on the big and small screens, and smart as the new sexy, the “nerd” has been embraced by the media and popular culture. Suddenly, the nerds are at the cool table and, guess what? We are no better than the Mean Girls.

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When I was a kid, I loved books and music of all kinds. I spent my time reading and writing, listening to music and trying desperately to fit in. I was one of 5 black kids in my high school graduating class and grew up in a multi-cultural family that tried their damndest to keep me sheltered from racism and sexism, even though I was an overweight black girl raised by a single, white mother. My favorite books, The Secret Garden, A Wrinkle in Time, Anne of Green Gables, were filled with people that did not necessarily look like me, but to whom I could relate. I learned to ignore color, gender, age in order to thoroughly enjoy many of the books and films I loved. As I got older, I fell in love with Batman, Star Trek and Indiana Jones and claimed the term “nerd” to help establish myself in a society that makes it difficult for a young, black woman to define her own identity.

This means my biases and cultural codes help create my experience in this particular subculture. I made a choice, like women all over the globe, to infiltrate a sphere typically reserved for (white) men and engage because I genuinely enjoy what is considered “geeky” and because, well, nerds have really awesome stuff.

Even if my story is nothing like yours, the unifying factor within the subculture of “nerd”, as I am to understand it, is the SUB–as in not prominent; having varying POVs, values and experiences than the larger group. Even if the larger group has appropriated our shit, you ask? Even if we can’t tell the real nerds from the hipsters anymore, you ask?

Wait. What?

You see, the problem with nerd privilege is us.