Aisha Tyler: Queen of the Blerds (The Root)


Aisha Tyler ’92 talks to The Root about why she is happy to be, as the online magazine writes, the “reigning queen of the black nerds, or ‘blerds,’ as they’re called these days.”

“We’ve been around forever, haven’t we?” says Tyler, when asked why blerds have recently become so cool. “I don’t know that we’ve become cooler, but I think (that with) the rise of nerd culture and the celebration of otherness and the outsider, as a result it’s like a high tide lifting all boats.”

“I’ve heard, in the past, black people say things like ‘black people don’t swim,’ ‘black people don’t eat bagels,’ ‘black people don’t listen to rock music,’ says Tyler, a comedian and TV star as well as an author whose second book, Self-Inflicted Wounds: Heartwarming Tales of Epic Humiliation, is due out in July.

“That’s not the culture putting those stereotypes on us; that’s us doing that to ourselves—specifically saying, ‘That’s black, that’s not black.’ So I think what’s great about the rise of the nerd culture generally is that it really celebrates individuality.”

Read the full story, published 2/28/13 on The Root.

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