Rise of the Blerds | Department of Media Arts
March 18, 2024

Rise of the Blerds

Written by: Michael King

Eboni Johnson-Kaba ('21 M.F.A) never thought she would pursue a career in film, yet now she's both a director and producer. Originally wanting to study lions in Africa, she found her calling in documentary film, sharing the stories of her community. Now, with the backing of the Producers Guild of America's PGA Create lab, a program of one of the film and TV industry's most prestigious trade organizations, Johnson-Kaba is shining a spotlight on an underrepresented community with Blerd Nation. The documentary series, co-produced by fellow alumnus Barry Thornburg ('18 M.F.A), focuses on the Black nerd, or "Blerd," community in the U.S. "This culture runs very deep in the Black community," Johnson-Kaba says. "It's really just an exploration of how Black nerds have and will continue to bring new popularity to nerd and fandom spaces."

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