While at Anime NYC, I had the pleasure of attending the Blerd and Powerful: The Affirmation Panel hosted by Demetrius Holt a.k.a Hellspawned Cosplay. Hellspawned through his Blerd and Powerful initiative heavily advocates for Black Conventions. So naturally inviting Hilton George of (BlerdCon) and Jason Ricardson of (J1-Con) to take part in the panel was on. Let’s not forget Tony Weaver Jr.
A conversation about con-related matters and the woes of the black person who participates in nerdy space. Each panelist also took the time to talk about their experience and community efforts. All leading up to the introduction of Blerd Station.
What is Blerd Station?
Blerd Station is a streaming service envisioned by Demetrius with the big goal of rivaling streaming giants like Netflix and Disney. Set to feature curated content from Black Creators of the nerdy variety to build out the vision. Something that I found interesting was the plan to build out using a community funding method rather than trying to use corporate backing. Blerd Station will use a subscription model that pays the creator rather than the platform. This sounds promising, I’ll be keeping my eye on its progress and if you’re at least a bit interested. You should too!
One thing I want to briefly touch basis on was a comment Hellspawned made about BlerdCon’s 2022 Cosplay fiasco. To make a long story short, a white cosplayer won the cosplay contest and a lot of people weren’t happy about it. Some comments were made about the incident from the founder and other people involved in the convention and this further added to the uproar. Hellspawned essentially said he didn’t want to hear anything about it because the BlerdCon is doing work on the community.
While I don’t think it was a big enough issue to call for a boycott of BlerdCon, people having complaints or concerns are valid. Just because someone follows through with what they say they’re gonna do for the community. Doesn’t mean that they are above criticism. In fact, in those times. It’s best to double down and reassure your supposers. By not being flippant and genuinely listening. You don’t gotta kiss nobody’s ass but alienating folks who have supported you aint it either. I’ma leave it at that!
My thoughts on Blerd and Powerful: THE Affirmation
One of the main things, I took away from this panel and I’m hoping the same message we’ll be heard loud and clear. Unity! Share what you know. Help and support whenever way you see fit. Things will continue to grow and the only way we can do that is together.
Overall, the Blerd and Powerful: THE Affirmation panel was pretty insightful. And I had fun listening to these gentlemen speak and look forward to seeing where their dreams continue to take them! Be sure to follow all the panelists and take this as a sign to chase down your dreams too. Cuz we’re rooting for you!
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