Over the past several years, sites like Black Girl Nerds have cropped up to provide a space for black women who identify as nerds to talk about sci-fi, fantasy, comics, movies, and other nerdy topics they love in a safe space. But the idea of black women loving sci-fi and being a part of "nerdom" is far from new -- as noted in a tweet from writer ReBecca Theodore-Vachon on Friday.
Yes, there are bad-ass women in sci-fi but the representation of Black women in science fiction and "nerd" spaces has never been ideal. First of all, there just aren't enough shown on screen or in print. But lack of representation and membership in a fandom don't correlate. Just because black women are underrepresented in genre, doesn't mean there aren't black female "nerds."
Theodore-Vachon's tweet struck a nerve with those women who had grown up loving sci-fi because of the nerdy Black women who came before them. Marginalized groups are so frequently left out of stories or go unacknowledged in fan spaces that one response even noted, "Definitely thought I was the only one" in reference to being raised a Black Trekkie.
Although social media can often harbor harassment and cruelty, it can also be a place where those who have felt like "the only one" can find a community for the first time. Throughout the day, Theodore-Vachon's tweet received replies from women (and men) who had grown up loving sci-fi because of their Black moms, aunts, and/or grandmothers -- demonstrating further that just because a group is underrepresented, doesn't mean they aren't there.
Check out the stories below after how Black women throughout generations have inspired the love of sci-fi and genre for decades.
Check out Theodore-Vachon's tweet for more stories of Black women spreading the sci-fi love.