Last night, I watched Adventureland which is really terrific and something that I totally connected with. But when it was over, I thought, Where are our coming of age stories for people of color? Ones that aren't about getting out of the ghetto, I mean.
Part of my debate about posting that was not wanting this blog to be about race. But it's unavoidable. In the back of my mind, I've decided this is the year I'm going to deal with race more head-on in my work and I guess on this blog, too. If you're not down with that, cool. There are other theatre blogs to read. If you are...welcome to the ride. It might get bumpy at times, but I doubt it's gonna be boring.
And, yes, I am indeed a nerd of color. A colored fanboy. A Negro Geek. I grew up on a steady diet of space opera, flying guys in tights and swords and sandals. I gravitated towards Marvel Comics and the X-men in particular because, for comics, having a blue guy with a tail, a Russian who turned into living steel, and an African counted as diversity. It reflected the multicultural, patchwork world I lived in, both in my house and outside. And that is what I think we need from art: a reflection, a refraction of our world. It doesn't always need to be comforting, but it needs to feel true. The adventures of a bunch of people who didn't fit into their world because how they were born felt true. It still feels true.
I like Bao Phi's summation so much, I'm just going to use that to finish this post.
When it comes down to it, having these discussions is necessary, even if those of us who choose to confront it and speak against it are one against a thousand voices shouting us down. As nerds, as people of color, we are used to insurmountable odds. We’re used to doing what we think is right and standing up for what we believe in, even when it’s not popular and endangers our lives. Isn’t that what being a nerd is all about?