The Best Of Blerdcon 2019, A Celebration Of Black Cosplay

Once again, Blerdcon went down earlier this month and once again, the cosplay was absolutely incredible.

Wondering what “Blerd” means, or why there’d be a “Blerdcon”? Here’s the show’s official description:

Blerdcon is an event that highlights and celebrates Blerd culture and creates a marketplace of ideas where sharing that culture can take place with proper context, attribution and positivity in an inclusive environment.

Blerdcon is derived from the term “Blerd” which is short for black nerd. Blerd culture encompasses creatives, fans, producers who are and have been contributing to every fandom, but don’t get the recognition or notoriety.

Blerdcon celebrates our connection with LGBTQ, the disabled, POCs and the international community! All are welcome to partake in the experience as we are an open community who love all the same nerddom.

As he did last year, Legend of Micah was there with his camera, and put together this great video showcasing just some of the cosplay that was in attendance.


Comments

    the description kind of sounds exactly the opposite of inclusive... If you have to narrow down the focus on particular groups then you are being as inclusive as regular bath house. everyone's invited but, we still have walls up between the different groups.

      "in an inclusive environment"

      "Blerdcon is derived from the term “Blerd” which is short for black nerd. Blerd culture encompasses creatives, fans, producers who are and have been contributing to every fandom, but don’t get the recognition or notoriety."

      Doesnt sound very inclusive to me.

      What do current Conventions not provide that warrants this one?

      I get your point but there's not really any walls up, you can see folks of all walks in the videos and pictures people throw up.

      If a black person cosplays as a character of a different culture/'race', does it still count as cultural appropriation?

      Also the guy playing the hamburglar is fucking hilarious.

        I don't think so. anyone can cosplay as anyone so long as they try to keep it respectful to the source. there are some that probably won't go down well regardless of who plays them(mr popo. a great character but, sadly not cosplay material I don't think) but, the vast majority shouldn't matter to anyone.

    I do wonder.

    If someone hosted a Similar convention but for Caucasians would it get the same praise?

    I doubt it.

      I don't disagree but it sorta depends on the reasons.

        Don't get me wrong. Im against all forms of discrimination. And there is plenty of it occurring in the USA. African Americans have a history of being victims of it particularly in America and its a dark stain on their history that some seek to deny.

        But you cant stop discrimination by doing it more in a different way. Existing conventions do not in any way discriminate against African Americans. Only a couple of shitlords on the internet who make up for their lonliness by shitting on other people.

      There'd probably be the typical "All the other conventions are ALREADY for white people!" response, followed up by shrill shrieking that shatters glass.

      It's never as simple as a trivial substitution expecting all other factors to be equal. You'd agree with the absurdity of talking about financial aid for low income earners and wondering "if someone offered financial aid to the wealthy would it get the same praise?"

      Existing conventions may not discriminate against African Americans, but there's still a deficit created in the past that needs to be bridged before real equality can exist, and things like this are around specifically to reassure people driven to hide who they are that they can be themselves in a genuinely safe and welcoming environment and build up the self confidence to then go from there into the broader community.

      This is how equity has always worked - you give help proportionally to those who need it, not 'equally' to everyone. The poor need that kind of financial aid more than the wealthy do, so it goes to the poor. Minority communities need this kind of social aid more than the majority, so things like this exist. It's not perpetuating discrimination, any more than financial aid is perpetuating income disparity - rather the opposite, it's helping close the gap so that people really can be equal.

        What deficit existed in the past that requires a convention like this?

        Give me examples.

        Your examples have relevance with things like Social services. It does not in any way apply to cosplay.

          From general things like being shunned or excluded because of skin colour, to nerd-specific things like having so few positive black characters in fiction to look to as role models, having to deal with racist shit online any time a black character does get some fame, being accused by non-minority nerds of appropriating nerd culture, being told cosplaying as a white character isn't allowed. That's just off the top of my head.

          Don't pretend you haven't seen this shit happen either. The racist backlash against Idris Elba being cast as Heimdall was so prevalent it made international news. Likewise after Anna Diop was cast as Starfire in the Titans TV show. Kotaku has written on the problem of racism in cosplay before, as has Mic. Black cosplayers have spoken about it directly themselves.

          You might not see it or be aware of it, but that doesn't change the fact it's there. It's not just 'a couple of shitlords on the internet', it's everywhere, and it's not nearly as rare as you think. In geek fandom it can be especially prevalent since there are many fans who are possessive about the hobby and try to gatekeep others from participating. POC women who cosplay as anime characters experience that acutely, and I've witnessed that happen right in front of me.

          There's plenty of testimony like what I linked above from people who have experienced this stuff. If you really want a view into what they've been through you just have to listen to them and not dismiss their experience as exceptional, because it isn't.

    In the USA the war between BLACK and WHITE is still ongoing.
    Kinda pathetic but its just the way it is, so you get allot of racist crap still.. wish the world would just move on and see everyone as equal, lol a fantasy I know!

    ITT: White people complaining about a thing they don't care about because it isn't made for them.

      Nice casual racism bud.

      Oh right. Its against white people so its okay!

        You've spent time in this discussion suggesting that a group you're not part of doesn't need something tailored for them because you doubt the negative experiences they've had that suggest otherwise. It's unlikely you've experienced what that group has in the same degree and frequency, but you're comfortable overwriting your own experience on top of theirs when it comes to you deciding whether or not they need something.

        That's casual racism. You're not trying to be malicious and you probably don't realise you're doing it but you are. I've been there myself. I also know the knee-jerk reaction you'll have, but don't. Introspect instead.

          Thank you for replying in a more constructive way than I would have.

      Yeah, I've never heard "white people" caring about cosplay before.

        Nevermind.

        For some reason I can't delete my comment?

        Last edited 27/07/19 12:22 pm

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