Dear Black Men...

It’s not about you

Dear Black Men...

Once again, if you got past the title then you’re either intrigued or ready to get mad, but either way thanks for the views!

I wrote an article back in 2018 titled, “Dear White Cosplayers” and I promised myself that I would spend 2019 focusing on other issues outside of white people and their issues with black and brown cosplayers.

It was tough—I wanted to write about Uniqso’s backward-ass hashtags they used for their very few black models. I wanted to talk about ColossalCon East and how both Donnell and Gary had to step down due to screenshots being shared of them being racist, sexist and overall GROSS towards cosplayers of color/sexy cosplayers. I REALLY wanted to write about Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau and how blackface seems to be a “right of passage” or a “phase” for any white person—Canadian or American.

But I dug down deep and left those topics alone for other writers—ideally white writers—to hold their group accountable for the bullshit going on. Meanwhile, in my very own group black male "nerds" have been too loud for too fucking long.

Just recently, DragonCon held their annual “Black Geeks of DragonCon” photoshoot and some of my favorite cosplayers got together in their Marvel cosplays—Jubilee, Gambit, Domino and Storm. These women—ALL black women—where killing it, absolutely flawless. Eventually the post got shared and turned into a meme with the caption, “Black girls aren’t into nerdy things… maybe not the black girls you cool with,” and LORDT the flood gates opened.

Comments from black men and even some other black women (it really be your very own sometimes…) came out to bash these women. “Most black female 'nerds' are bed wrenches…”; “Yeah, I’m not into that shit…”; “The black girls who do this mainly want non-black men. I know not to even bother trying to date them…”

Dear black men—ya’ll okay?

I asked this, truly trying to understand why you guys are so desperate to date a black nerdy woman and yet when we say we exist you’re ready to throw us in a river like the witches you BELIEVE us to be. I don’t get it. Why are you guys begging for a unicorn and then shooting it down and calling it a horse?

On the other hand—why do you think we care about you guys THAT much? As if we’re so desperate for a black nerdy man that we’re ready to pretend to be something that we’re not? If you really think that I’m out here, waiting for Target to open so I can be the first to get their “Target Exclusive” limited edition Thanos Endgame giant Funko Pop in the hopes that a black man will see me and marry me on the spot, then the fuck kind of fantasy do you live in?

I’m waiting for Winston Duke to notice me—I got my M’Baku Funko Pop, too.

It’s always the same complaint: “They’re only out here for attention and to steal our money!” HA! One thing that’s true to any nerd, geek, and cosplayer is we’re all broke out here. Cons are strategically attended by fitting eight people to one room, cosplays are made from old T-shirts and cardboard (it doesn’t look that way cause we’re THAT good) and money is saved all year just for it to disappear over the course of a weekend. No one is out here trying to steal your last eighty-five cents for a pack of Maruchan Ramen noodles.

I can complain about black men all day, but what I really want is change. As much as I’ve met “the toxic black man” at conventions, I have met many amazing black male nerds who embrace anyone—man or woman—in their nerd space. For those of you who are “the good ones,” do me and all black nerdy women a favor and tell the toxic men to “STFU.”

When you see a black nerdy man go on about “fake ghetto bitches,” I want to see you virtually throw hands and shut them up. Love react the post they’re trying to drag down. Comment and let the cosplayer know she’s awesome. Do both and share the post with a “I love black women and you should, too!” We—black women—are tired and we need you guys to hold your own accountable. Even when a black woman isn’t in your immediate space, speak up for us. Don’t just do it for us but do it for yourselves, too. Let your boy know you’re not his “safe space” for toxic behavior.

I know it’s not “all” black men, but right now it’s too fucking many, and until we see some real change, in the words of Stephen Wade Jr.: “Do fucking better.”

Yarn Goddess Cosplay
Yarn Goddess Cosplay
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Yarn Goddess Cosplay

2018 is the year I decided to throw my voice in the mix and talk about cosplay community issues such as race, cosplay politics and overall share my experience and observations as a African-Caribbean Cosplayer.

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