Good grades, that wasn’t hood. It wasn’t G. Classical music, violin playing...that’s for white folks. At that time pop culture didn’t help blerds, black television and film poked fun at the non-stereotypical black male—if they showed one at all. Nobody wanted to be Carlton Banks, you wanted to be like Will Smith.
Growing up black and nerdy was intimidating. As black people, historically, we’ve fought so hard to preserve, maintain and express our blackness, which has been suppressed for centuries. For a long time, being nerdy was mistakenly synonymous with acting white. I was constantly called white or told, “you’re not really black.”