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NEWS BRIEF: Atlanta’s Dragon Con: A Black Nerd Paradise

Fantasy reflects reality

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Photo credit: Black Geeks of Dragon Con
Redefining what a nerd can look like

On Labor Day Weekend 2022, an estimated 65,000 comic book, anime, movie, television, and video game fans descended on Downtown Atlanta’s Hilton Hotel for Dragon Con, a yearly convention celebrating all things in nerd-dom.

There are a few things make Dragon Con unique among conventions. For one, where other cons lead with media announcements and new releases, Dragon Con is a pure celebration and gathering of people with different interests. One attendee, interviewed by The New York Times, said, “They just have good fun, camaraderie, and amazing cosplay, which is very southern grown. It’s more of a party.”

Another Dragon Con identifier is the result of Atlanta’s black majority population, with Dragon Con seemingly specifically catering to black convention goers. As NYT reports, “A diversity track has been added to the programming that features panels on cosplay and disability, dealing with hate as a cosplayer, and representation in fantasy media.”

One tradition stands out. Black Geeks of Dragon Con, started by Mr. Sherman in 2015, originally began a response to the question, “Were you the only Black guy there?” Indeed he was not. In the last seven years, Black Geeks of Dragon Con grew from 20 people to almost 350 in 2019. This year was no different as hundreds of self-proclaimed blerds (black nerds) converged at the convention to celebrate what they love and take pictures with cosplayers dressed as their favorite characters. nytimes.com

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