I’ve made a post like this once before, but since the celebrity Black girl nerd scene has changed tremendously (and everything else too, if we’re keeping it a hundred ‘P’) since I published my first post, I’ve decided to make another. So here you go! You know the drill. Some faces you may recognize; others, you may not: 10 (more) famous Black girl nerds!
1. Megan Thee Stallion
When I made my first list of Black girl nerd celebs, Meg wasn’t mainstream yet, but her love of anime quickly made a place for her in the Black nerd community. She often references anime in her lyrics, paints her nails with anime character-inspired designs, and occasionally cosplays anime characters as well. One of her nicknames is “Todoroki Tina,” and she has even collaborated with brands like Crunchyroll and Mortal Kombat to share her love of anime and gaming with the world. And if that wasn’t enough, a Jujutsu Kaisen voice actor has even shouted her out on social media. So yeah, she’s definitely in there!
2. Doja Cat
Doja has literally made herself into a meme and an anime character. She’s been seen playing video games in several of her music videos, and she’s also been seen streaming games on Twitch, drawing the attention of quite a few streamers. Doja Cat is no stranger to the world of video games and anime, for sure. They’re practically her brand at this point, and that’s not stopping any time soon.
Lizzo is a self-professed “band nerd.” Her father encouraged her to pursue playing the flute growing up, and it’s something that she’s still known for today, despite her plans going a little differently than originally intended. She’s said that growing up, being a nerd wasn’t cool, but that didn’t stop her from watching shows like Sailor Moon. With her childhood bedroom decked out in Sailor Moon paraphernalia from a local comic shop, Lizzo grew up unashamed to wear her Moonie badge as part of her brand, and it’s paid off big time! The lesson here: never be afraid to be yourself.
4. Rico Nasty
Rico is another artist who isn’t afraid to talk about her love of anime. In an interview, she has stated that she is a big fan of shows like Naruto and Chobits. Her fusion of hip-hop and rock has put her into an alternative music lane of her own, so if you like having a good time and screaming at the top of your lungs when you listen to music, Rico definitely has a song for you. I recommend starting with Nasty, but you really can’t go wrong with anything from her discography, if I’m being real. So go check her out if you haven’t already!
The second self-professed Moonie on the list, Saweetie has been sent anime-inspired artwork of herself by the brand Crunchyroll. She’s been featured on the podcast Sailor Moon Fan Club, and she has even been seen rocking a Sailor Chibi Moon necklace. Saweetie works hard to make sure Sailor Moon is a part of her brand, and it shows. She grew up watching Sailor Moon and eating adobo with her lola, and not much has changed with that even to this day. The Moonie fandom has welcomed Saweetie with open arms, and the feeling seems to be mutual.
6. Willow Smith
Willow Smith has never been afraid to be herself, even if it meant that she’d be ostracized for it. You never know what you’re going to get with her because she truly has the range. At 15 years of age, she was hosting underground quantum-mechanics classes and studying how to produce songs from mathematical equations. Today, she’s making music with musicians like Travis Barker and covering songs made by her mother’s old metal band. These days, Willow says that she’s working on her historical fiction novel The Black Shield Maiden and developing an anime series that she’s been working on for six years, that she hopes to turn into a graphic novel, as well. Both series will feature Black women who “struggle with the pushback they get in the world.” Sound familiar? Willow is constantly evolving, and you never know what she’s going to come out with next. So stick around and see!
You may know Amerie for her popular 00’s song 1 Thing, but I’m here to talk about something you may not know her for: her love of books. Amerie started her YouTube channel showcasing her passion for reading in 2014, and she has been maintaining it ever since. She also has a website if you’re interested in joining her book club and having some heartfelt discussions over her favorite books each month. Amerie is also a contributing author to the New York Times bestselling anthology Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy and another anthology about Black Girl Magic, resistance, and hope called A Phoenix First Must Burn, which makes sense given the fact that Amerie loves reading sci-fi, fantasy, and non-fiction. If you’re looking for a community of readers to share your passion for books with, give Amerie’s Book Club a try!
And speaking of book clubs, Noname is another Black girl celebrity who runs one. Noname started her book club, titled quite simply, Noname Book Club in 2019 as a way to uplift POC voices. Each month, she highlights two books written by authors of color. Her book club is heavily focused on building community with people across the United States, and it even has programs in partnership with incarcerated members to encourage reading for people in prison, as well. Noname says that she’s always been inspired by Black women writers like Toni Morrison and Patricia Smith, and she’s very vocal about her political views on Twitter. If you’re interested in some lyrically-intense music, give Noname’s discography a play. She proves that rapping is indeed an artform.
9. Zoe Saldana
Zoe Saldana, or as you may also know her, Gamora in the Marvel movie franchise Guardians of the Galaxy is proud to state that she was raised by a mom who was a huge sci-fi geek. And she is also no stranger to the genre of science fiction herself, as she’s played in several blockbuster sci-fi films like Avatar and Star Trek. Zoe has portrayed Gamora so well in the Guardians movies, that her likeness has been retained for the Women of Marvel #1 comic, as well. I guess they’re pretty much the same person now. So if you want to watch a good movie featuring Zoe, there really isn’t a wrong choice, so long as you stay away from Nina…
10. Gina Torres
You could say that I saved the best for last because Gina Torres is truly an OG Afro-Latina nerd. I’m surprised she wasn’t included in my first post. Weird… Gina has starred in a number of fantasy and science-fiction series like Firefly/Serenity, Xena: Warrior Princess, Star Wars Rebels, The Matrix, The Justice League, The Vampire Diaries, and more. And with a list like that, I really question how I left her off of my first list. Very weird… Anyway, I probably don’t have to tell you to check out Gina because I’m sure you’ve seen at least one of her works, but a re-watch never hurts. She’s definitely worth it!
And there you have it: my list of 10 (more) Black girl nerds! Perhaps you found some new nerds to check out, or maybe you already knew everyone on the list. Either way, I hope you enjoyed yourself, and if you know anyone that is missing from this list, don’t be afraid to let me know. I’m always open to learning about more Black girl nerd celebs~