In response to the staggering election results in which many members of marginalized communities experienced how disconnected they were from their fellow citizens and the country elected bigotry and hatred; Black Nerd Problems put out the call to hear how people were coping. Here is a collection of short essays on what we’re doing, just to get by.

The Threat:

Ash Davis / Twitter: @tokenblackchick

Queer black woman writing to keep her sanity in what looks to be the start of a post apocalyptic movie starring Brad Pitt and no black people.

I was sick the night of November 8th. Sicker November 9th. But by November 10th I was better. Days into what feels like the prologue of a post-apocalyptic video game, I’m okay.

My kids comfort me.

But I’m not talking about physical offspring. I don’t have any children.

I mean my characters; the beings I give life to in the pages of my fanfiction.

[quote_right]To write Black people into these stories like notes scribbled in the margins that end up being better than the book.[/quote_right]

We Black nerds know the nerdy stuff we love to consume — the video games, the movies, the TV shows — have few, poorly written, or no Black characters at all. Which in turn means their fandoms and fanfictions remain as woefully white as their subject material. Ever since I began writing fanfiction, I’ve worked to change that. To write Black people into these stories like notes scribbled in the margins that end up being better than the book.

Fanfiction and fandom is a way of life for me. It’s been there for me in ways I can’t begin to explain. It saved me from depression (twice). I’ve met lifelong friends in fandom, bonding over our love of the same things and this notion that we were never alone in our journeys to write ourselves in places we were denied access to on the grounds of ‘canon’ or ‘historical accuracy’.

But more than that, fanfiction heals me. I write stories about my Black characters being loved for the things Black women are hated for daily; our color, our hair, our bodies. And judging from what we’re seeing in this first week of a post-November 8th world, there’s only going to be more hate. So I write for my children the love I’m going to miss out on in these next few years. The kind of love I hope reaches my readers and takes some of the edge off the pain and suffering and fear they’re going through right now.

If my characters, my kids, can do that for just one person–

Then I’ll get through this just fine.


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