A coalition of African-American activists and scholars released a strongly worded statement Monday citing the “urgent need” for popular media to depict a new black nerd archetype that more accurately reflects the full spectrum of 21st-century American dorkdom.
“Outdated representations of African-American nerds are simply not cutting it anymore,” the statement read in part. “Perhaps in the ’80s and ’90s it was possible for young people to identify with Steve Urkel’s hiked-up pants, nasal voice, and lovable catchphrase of ‘Did I do that?’ But today’s black nerds are different.”
“They may not carry slide rules and calculators, but they do carry smartphones to make posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare,” the statement continued. “Yet where are the modern-day nerds of color in our films and television programs?”