The Blerdy Blackness of Technology.
(ThyBlackMan.com) Thinking back on a trip to University of South Florida an Engineering Expo, seeing about 3000 youth and many of them Black brings a renewed feeling of high expectations for Black youth in education. The eight young men with me learned about new opportunities for their successes and the importance of education and influence of STEAM. Educational exposure is important to show Black youth their options and opportunities outside of sports, entertainment and service careers.
The Blackness of technology is growing; it is a shining Black light of intelligence, creativity and innovation; basking in its diversification influenced by people of color. As an Engineering teacher I see a new world for learning and excited about my contributions as an educator.
The engagement of technology allows Black children and children of color to expand their intellectual and creative abilities beyond sports, entertainment and the stereotypical elements that society deems appropriate for Black children. Black children are more than items for entertainment, objects to parade around in rap videos; they are more than being portrayed as gunman, thieves, in poverty, drug dealers in video games and movies that glamorize prison and crime. Black children, teens and young adults have Blerd skills and talents that should be encouraged, supported and importantly respected and cultivated.
As President Obama has stated, America will not achieve the greatness it is destined if Black children and children of color are not educated to the best of their abilities.
It is now cool to be a Nerd and Geek; to love Science, to read, enjoy the library and the intellectual enjoyment of attending technology conferences, workshops and seminars. It is not about embracing “whiteness” it is about embracing the empowerment and engagement of technology.
What I tell my elementary engineering students mostly Black (Title One School), to be self-confident, to have high self-esteem and high expectations for their success with technology and education.
The same success mentality about the Tuskegee Airman (Red Tails) should be used for today’s youth in science, engineering, medicine, technology and careers not created yet. Blacks still have to fight past the stereotypes, so when the word Blerd and others are used as Kat Calvin states that Blacks “want to OWN who we are, our history, our culture, our uniqueness.”
The integration of STEAM Science Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics, in elementary schools has allowed Black children to explore new areas of intellectual growth. STEAM encourages reading comprehension, critical thinking skills and higher order rationalization that is needed in
corporate careers and in scientific careers requiring research skills. Knowledge of engineering and math that even embraces the Arts.
Blerds like Shareff Jackson (Philadelphia) #ScienceLooksGood; he shows the coolness and awesomeness to be a Blerd http://shareefjackson.com/ young ladies like Tiffany Duhart http://about.me/tiffanyduhart (Jacksonville, Fl.) whose Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram account names Brand and Market her abilities that women have Swaggalicious Blerdiness and possess #BlerdGirl powers. Women like Amanda Spann of http://Blerdology.co that mentor and offer girls opportunities to learn how to code and many other technology skills, HBCUKidz – http://hbcukids.com/ promoting HBCU’s, education and sharing resources.
Ladies like my wife Cheryl, using technology to model for working moms Sister2Sister Catering http://sister2sistercatering.wordpress.com learning how to blog and post her recipes to help moms with families create nutritious meals. There are many others!!!! “Blacks cannot afford to be selfish with their talents and should network to become influential as tech entrepreneurs.
Terms like Blerds, (Black Nerds), Bleeks (Black Geeks) and an association of complementary phrases: #Blerdology, #BlackLadyNerd, #BlerdMovement, #BlerdGirl, #Nerdlife, #BlerdSwag, #BlackGirls, #BlerdLife, # Swaggalicious #Swag, and #BlackHack show a growing influence.
Blacks are creating and attending their own technology conferences: Blogging While Brown http://bloggingwhilebrown.com/ displaying the ability of Blacks to uplift and build their own up in support and recognition. Blogging While Brown has grown to become the premier blogging conference dedicated to education, collaboration, and innovation among Bloggers of Color.
Black Bloggers Connect is a site loaded with Blacks (and other cultures) Blogging about everything imaginable http://blackbloggersconnect.com/ I encourage Blacks if you want to start blogging and need help, start here. Interested in technology utilize Blacks In Technology https://www.blacksintechnology.net/ and others.
Shifting paradigms creating Blerdiness from elementary classrooms like mines to colleges like #FAMU, #SCSU, HBCU’s should be sure to integrate STEAM to prepare their graduates for careers. Education has changed with more schools, even elementary schools having computer labs, technology centers, students building Apps, involved in STEM and STEAM programs.
I studied Malcolm X and his passion to be educated and sharing this with his children. Having a deep love of mathematics and stated his college was a library. When asked where the idea for his last name X came from, he said in a television interview that the “X stands for the unknown, as in mathematics.” That is a true Blerd….
As Black children grow and mature not only will their designation of self change, but the solidification of their place in a world where technology is life and life is technology. Blerds are developing a natural equilibrium with technology. They are developing their own Matrix, not waiting on others to define their existence.
Staff Writer; William D. Jackson
Find out more about this talented writer over at; OCS For Education.
Also check out; http://www.About.Me/WilliamDJackson