black nerds, don’t change yourselves for the approval of your peers

February 22, 2017
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By Asher Primus, AFROPUNK contributor

On Sunday night, I ran into a viral video on Facebook of a young black boy singing the lyrics to a Drake song to a girl. Based off the girl’s body language she tries not to pay him any attention in hopes that he would go away. For black nerds, this is a common response we get in grade school. I have seen it firsthand of how black nerds suffer mentally with rejection and turn to misogynists who dislike black women. When I was in high school, my English teacher and a couple cheerleaders told me that I would be a perfect catch for any woman after college. It boosts my self-esteem, but the problem was why weren’t any girls in school eager to be with me now?

Black nerds tend to be neglected or pushed away from the “talk.” Our sexuality is restricted, but sometimes we just want to have fun like everyone else. We need the talk and to love ourselves. Our brains or uncommon interest are nothing to be ashamed of and we should surround ourselves with people who can accept us. We do not need to change dramatically for the approval of our peers. And most importantly, we may not date the popular girl from school. It is okay for them to reject us. No amount of good character or intelligence should be factors used to pity women into dating us. I want black nerds to be happy in grade school and not have to go through the frustrations I dealt with when I was a high school senior. In high school, I ruined my own senior year stressing myself out for being single.

Grade school is not the end of the world and if college is your next best step then do not worry, but understand what you want from a woman. She should respect you and your boundaries. Do not change and just be yourself. I fully understand those who feel lost. Granted the media does not properly portray black nerdhood. In personal incidents, I have been bullied because of it. I was demonized and referenced as every awkward black nerd on television in movies. The media influences our own community as if we are weak, unmanly or not black enough. Yet, we can fight this stereotype together by opening up and being more vocal on how we feel about these toxic images.