Fight Music

“Art will save us,” Dr. Tang told me as we drank coffee and played chess at a Berkeley Starbucks. She suddenly stopped, her hand still holding her rook a few centimeters above the board. She shook her salt and pepper hair, took a deep breath and smiled. “Let me rephrase. Art will not save is, Shawn. But it will make the bullshit easier to deal with. It will inspire us to do good work. It will gives us new eyes through which to see.” Checkmate. As Dr. Tang got up to leave, she told me one last thing. “As usual, the art that will get us through is music.”

I wanted to dispute this. I wanted to talk about the political dimensions of aerosol art, street theater, cyphers of emcees (like this still happens) — but in my experience, she was totally right. Almost all of my prosocial politics have come from music. Music has been there for me when so many others chose not to, or I didn’t allow them to. Music has been as much a part of my life and growth as geek culture.

Continue reading “Fight Music”

Advertisements

Get In: The Get Out Review

This will be a collective review between Edward Hong and Josephine Chang. First, Edward provides a bite sized non-spoiler review for Jordan Peele’s Get Out while Josephine will go in deep to discuss the film in full detail. So for those wary of spoilers, you are safe!

Continue reading “Get In: The Get Out Review”

Cindi Mayweather: Behind The Music

Originally published at Black Sci-Fi.Com in June in honor of Black Music History Month and LGBTQ Pride

“I imagined many moons in the sky lighting the way to freedom.”

She is one of the most the critically acclaimed musicians out today. Between her successful albums, films, award nominations and collaborations with everyone from the late Prince to First Lady Michelle Obama, one thing is certain for Janelle Monae; her rising star is only getting brighter.

But who is Janelle Monae?

While researching the chanteuse, I uncovered a most profound discovery. Everything we thought we knew about Monae is a complete work of fiction. For starters her name isn’t even Janelle Monae. It is an alias and part of her cover. In actual fact, Monae’s true identity is Cindi Mayweather; an android from the future.

Continue reading “Cindi Mayweather: Behind The Music”

Pokémon GO and Choosing the Blackest Joy

by Lauren Bullock | Originally posted at Black Nerd Problems

As you might expect, it begins with a selection of starters: today, do you choose fuming rage, crushing grief, or helpless fear? Perhaps you feel all three. Or none. Being Black in America is not just some game that anyone can control, after all.

As a Black Nerd it’s impossible to ignore that in the same week that we gained Pokémon Go, arguably one of the most anticipated games of the year, we lost Alton Sterling and Philando Castile to police brutality (who in reality are part of an even longer list of murders by the police this week alone). Once again the debates flare up between distraction and self care, between what people “should” be talking about or feeling at any given moment. But if Pokémon taught me anything, it’s that there is always another option than the “starters” you’re given, and sometimes this, too, is its own revolutionary act. I’m talking about allowing ourselves to sometimes choose Black joy. No, the Blackest Joy.

Continue reading Pokémon GO and Choosing the Blackest Joy”

No. You Move!

Trigger Warning: Rape Culture

An oracle by the name of Maya Angelou once said, “When someone tells you who they really are, believe them the first time.”

I’ve mentioned this before and it always bears repeating. It’s not always the grand gestures that will reveal the content of a person’s character. Or, lack thereof. If you’re an astute observer and know how to ask the right questions, it’s the seemingly minute comments and actions and the inevitability of time that will reveal all.

Midnighter Mode in 3………2………..1………….

Continue reading “No. You Move!”

Black Masculinity as Performed in Japanese Visual Media

by Kendall Bazemore

Japan has long produced visual media that has captivated readers and viewers for decades. Manga and anime are two classic mediums through which fantastical worlds and profound characters come to life. Of all the hundreds of thousands of characters that exist in these worlds, there are a handful that share a close resemblance to African Americans. Though these characters are not always explicitly identified as black, they are heavily coded as black or Afro-descended. The aesthetic of black coded characters in anime and manga reflect the same ideologies of black males in U.S media and society. Popular series like Naruto and Samurai Champloo both use tropes of black males and demonstrate common ideas about their masculinity and how they are read by others. Hip hop is the vehicle through which Japan understands American blackness which manifests itself in various ways in Japanese media.

Continue reading “Black Masculinity as Performed in Japanese Visual Media”

Let’s Talk About Police Brutality: A Black-ish Recap

On last night’s episode of the ABC comedy show black-ish, the sitcom took a big chance and dedicated an entire episode on police brutality, racism, and the effectiveness of the American justice system. Although I only catch an episode of this show every now and then, I was made very well aware of this particular episode for some time because of its decision to center this episode on such heavy topics. And boy, it did not disappoint.

Continue reading “Let’s Talk About Police Brutality: A Black-ish Recap”

SPX’s Black Art Matters Panel is Online

Back in September, we tried to get you all hyped for the 21st annual Small Press Expo in Bethesda, MD. One of the main reasons for that excitement was the (controversially named) “Black Art Matters” panel moderated by legendary cartoonist Keith Knight and featuring artists C. Spike Trotman, Whit Taylor, Ron Wimberly, and Darryl Ayo.

If you missed out on SPX this year, you can still see the panel in its entirety after the jump since the show organizers have just posted it online.

Continue reading “SPX’s Black Art Matters Panel is Online”

The N.O.C.’s Most Read Posts of All Time

In this case, “all time” refers to two years. You see, today marks the second anniversary of the official launch of the site. Since that time, we’ve amassed dozens of contributors, hundreds of articles, thousands of readers, and hundreds of thousands of views. It’s humbling, and as the site’s lead editor, I want to thank each and everyone who has made the Nerds of Color what it is today, two years later.

So before we move forward into Year Three, I wanted to look back at the last two, and share ten of the most read posts in the history of the blog. Also, if you haven’t already, be sure to follow us on twitter and Facebook where we’ll be sharing links to these classic posts all week. Anyway, on to the countdown!

Continue reading “The N.O.C.’s Most Read Posts of All Time”