We know what time it is. IT’S SHOPPING SEASON, FRIENDS! Time to buy gifts for the Black nerds on your list. Honestly, we are moving out of Fun Shopping Season into Panic Shopping Season. Everyone who’s easy to shop for, we’ve covered it. Right now we’re in the sweet spot where we’re still looking for that special little thing before we just give up and buy everyone a Home Depot gift card. (What? Home Depot gift cards are hella useful!) Here’s our list of special things, many by Black creators, all nerd friendly, that may just be perfect for someone on your list. Or even yourself. Because you deserve it.
Gifts for Folks Who Like the Shinies
There’s probably an enamel pin fiend in your life. Does their aesthetic include Black girls in space with sparkles? Who’s doesn’t? We can’t get enough enamel pins with Black girls on them and these from artist and newbie pin maker B. Arakaki aka Resalan are as adorable as we could ever imagine! Her little space cadet is rocking her big afro puffs with rings around them as if she’s her own planet. A plus for those who are looking to buy a gift for someone who can’t get enough of science fiction or even a woman in a S.T.E.M. career. And if you just like kawaii things — look no further!
Tears of My Enemies
Tears of My Enemies, or T.O.M.E., is your home for fashionable ways to say “fuck you” to sexism, homophobia, and white supremacy. Meeks Baker began T.O.M.E. as an Etsy shop, selling laser-cut acrylic earrings with phrases like “FEMME,” “QUEER,” and “BOSS” that you can mix and match. Early this year, her “WAKANDA FOREVER” danglers sold out. Custom phrases are also available as well as new designs regularly.
Additionally, T.O.M.E. is now offering textiles with a message — including t-shirts and leggings — via Teespring. Keep track of it all and stock up on snark for the holidays by following the store on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tomeshopSF/
Gifts for the Black Women in your Life
Splendid Rain Co., a Pro-Black online store has released a winter holiday collection that should definitely be on everyone’s must-haves list. This store is both thought-provoking and vital to understanding and challenging our current cultural climate. Spoil yourself with comfy sweatshirts and tshirts that are not afraid to stand up against white supremacist ideologies. Be sure to check out all of their incredible creations; you won’t regret it.
Mocha Design Studio
The TRUST BLACK WOMEN t-shirt is a staple in our wardrobe. The person you give this to will make a statement everytime they walk into a room. So often Black woman walk into spaces that are not welcoming and when other Black women see this, you’ll share a secret smile. The fact that it is a company run by a black Women using Black women to model the clothing: priceless.
Mocha Design Studio has plenty of other Trust Black Women themed items as well.
Diasporan Savant Press
Want a poster of sister Rosetta tharpe, the godmother of rock and roll? How about a zine about fuckbois through history? Or maybe some beautiful prints featuring womenfolk and quotes from everyone from Audre Lorde to Octavia Butler? Looking to buy printed goods that don’t separate the female Black queer gaze from artwork but instead embraces it? Take a look at DiasporanSavantPress’s wares and find you something new to love: they make great planners and have 2019’s ready!
Nerdery for Every Genre
Now this one’s for the Trekies: A slick, heavy denim jacket with all the nerdy Star Trek: TNG styling that makes it fit for any occasion. It doesn’t look fit for a Midwestern winter, but LA “winter”? It should be perfect. Yea it is pricey, but it is semi-custom fit and high quality. Damn do we want one! In Command Red, obvi.
Alright, so we keep raving about the Persona series and there’s nothing you can do to shut us up about it. Especially because Atlus has a partnership with Insert Coin Clothing. Insert Coin creates apparel based on concepts and characters from your favorite video games. Nerds, friends of nerds, parents and partners of nerds, hop on this immediately.
We currently have our eyes on this Shujin Academy Varsity Jacket. Peep that Ryuji Hoodie? It has badass Phantom Thief written all over it. Their items are somewhat pricey as this hoodie is in the upper $40s (considering that US Shipping is $10). If you’re not a Phantom Thief in training, they have other nerd-inspired items from games like Destiny, God of War, and Borderlands. Peep game, they got t-shirts, leggings, hell they even got socks. Basically everything to yeet your pockets, but yeet in fashion.
Because of Them We Can
Lately, there are a lot of subscription boxes up for sale. This one, however, caught our eye as perfect for the Black kids in your life: Because of Them We Can. BOTWC is a website full of Black Excellence and education for kids. Their subscription box promises a unique theme every month, dress up props, interactive Black history activities, and all kinds of fun for kids to interact with our history. Big benefit? It is ideal for the Black kid who has enough toys and needs something deeper. Like most sub boxes, you can order 1 month up to 12 months, and it is easy to gift to a niece or godchild.
Rory’s Story Cubes
We love books. We love reading them. We love writing them. We love gifting them and we love getting them as gifts. But several of the small humans who live with us either can’t read yet or are just beginning to climb Mt. Chapterbook. This means that they’re also beginning to write stories in their reading classes as a way to think about characters, setting, and action.
At the suggestion of a teacher friend, we bought Rory’s Story Cubes. Essentially this is a dice-based storytelling game. The difference between this and my other favorite wordnerdy dice games like Metaphor Dice or Haikubes is that these dice don’t actually include words so the whole family from 4 to 94 can play.
Each die has 6 pictures (there are several sets arranged by theme) and you can follow the directions (we don’t) or make up your own rules (we do). The kids get to learn about storytelling and forging connections between events, cause and effect, and embellishment. The adults are forced to relax because suddenly there’s a mysterious staircase to the basement in the middle of what was not going to be a spooky story.
Every time we play, we laugh. Afterward, the wee ones are more keen on other ways of engaging with stories: reading, drawing comics, or retelling old favorites. This is both an educational tool and just plain fun.
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