We’re here again!  2016 is right around the corner and it’s time to reflect on the work BGN has done in the online community in 2015.  We will hit our 4th year on Feb 1 of 2016 and let me just say, it has been a fun and wild ride being a part of this community!  In no particular order, here are the highlights of events that took place this year!

 

Comic Con Appearances

 

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This year was our BIGGEST year ever for conventions.  In 2015, BGN appeared at the following conventions as a panelist: DragonCon, San Diego Comic Con, NekoCon, and New York Comic Con.  It was an honor and a privilege to represent the BGN community as a guest panelist discussing issues of women in geek media, diversity, and social media. At DragonCon, I finally found my new home in Atlanta; attending a convention made for fans by fans that allowed me to feel comfortable enough to cosplay for the very first time.  I met some awesome new friends and did a great panel about diversity in the Marvel TV universe.  There was the also the #BlerdTweetup which turned out to be a huge success and will be indelibly printed in our memories forever.

 

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In July I was invited by Regine Sawyer to attend San Diego Comic Con.  I decided to scramble my pennies together and fly across the other side of the country to sunny California to see what this convention was all about.  San Diego was indeed massive and it is impossible to attend every event you desire.  I was introduced to Regine Sawyer’s world of Women In Comics and was thrilled to have met and purchased comics from women writers, artists, and owners of comics. Sawyer is the owner of Lockett Down Productions that publishes various comic books mostly created by herself and other women.  I also appeared on several panels, including #WeAreAllHeroes, which was recognized by Buzzfeed as one of its winners for Comic-Con 2015.  Keith Chow from the Nerds of Color had the genius idea to create some synergy between our two platforms and coordinate a meetup.  We launched the BGN/NOC meetup  (Black Girl Nerds of Color Meetup) at the Grand Hyatt.  Several fans and followers of both sites stopped by including a special celebrity guest appearance by filmmaker Ryan Coogler.  It was a blast!

 

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NekoCon is an anime con in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia that is one of the largest anime cons in the country.  For the first time I decided to submit an idea for a panel and was happy to present Social Media in Geek Culture along with Melody Gordon, Terra Cooke, and Tai Gooden.  It was so much chatting about something I’m so passionate about as well as geek out about new interests in anime (I had just finished Death Note and loved it).  I also did some audio interviews from the con that you can hear on episode #43 of the BGNPodcast.

 

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New York Comic Con blew me away.  It felt like a family reunion.  Last year, I was up there for their sister con New York Super Week, and met with Connie Gibbs, Cynthia Francillon, and Latanya Barrett.  We all teamed up again this year for press coverage of New York’s largest convention.  A few days prior, the team from FanBros were kind enough to kick off a podcast which was a great way to get started for the week of New York Comic Con!  I appeared on a few panels and was excited to coordinate yet another #BGNMeetup which featured another great celebrity guest Orlando Jones!  The #Afrofuturefest event was a success featuring talented writers and artists and Karama Horne (@theblerdgurl) was so sweet to introduce me to some many artists and creators.

 

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Melissa Harris-Perry Show

Thanks to Keith Chow from NOC, I was asked to appear on the Melissa Harris-Perry Show to discuss diversity in comics.  It’s the first time ever I have made a TV appearance on a national broadcast and I’m honored to have the opportunity to allow more people to know who and what BGN is all about.  Although, I didn’t discuss BGN directly, I did chat briefly about how other women of color in comics are making waves in the digital age.

 

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Black Girl Nerds Podcast

The #BGNPodcast made a transition this year from being a part of the TWiB network, to evolving into a standalone recorded podcast.  We’re so grateful to the TWiB family for giving us a platform in the podcast space with their audience, and will always miss doing the live shows; however this shift from a live podcast to a recorded one gives us more options to work on various segments, live-remotes, and flexibility with interviewing celebrity guests.  However, being independent does require your support, so please if you haven’t done so already; please subscribe, follow, and rate us on any or all of the following platforms where you can stream our podcast.  The episodes are available on Soundcloud, Stitcher and iTunes.  Featured guests this year were Cree Summer, Ryan Coogler, Baratunde Thurston, the cast of Blackish, and Echo Kellum from Arrow.  Stay tuned in 2016 for more celebrity guests and fun segments from the BGNPodcast!

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Blogging While Brown Conference

 

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AT&T invited me as a guest to Austin, TX for the 8th Annual Blogging While Brown Conference.  I had the great opportunity to meet with so many talented bloggers and podcasters that are creating their own media independently and making waves on the interwebs.  I found out what Periscope was for the first time after attending this conference.  I also had the chance to finally meet Maya Glick, the creator of RAIN: A Fan Film about our favorite superheroine of the X-Men Ororo Munroe.  Having the chance to make new friends and network with other great content creators was the highlight of my tour in the convention circuit.

 

#80sLiveTweet

Created by Kimberly Renee, Candice Frederick, and I we decided to move from #JemLiveTweet to a new bi-weekly live-tweet where we pick a movie from the 80s decade.  So many great films were selected from The Lost Boys, to Labyrinth and Beverly Hills Cop.  During our live-tweet of the Monster Squad, so of the cast members from the film jumped in a few live tweets too!  Ashley Bank and Andre Gower chimed in!

Thank You

I want to personally say THANK YOU to all of the fans and followers of BGN.  You are the reason why this community continues to thrive, grow, and evolve.  Thank you to everyone who financially supports us through donations and merchandise purchases.  Thank you to everyone who subscribes to our newsletters, podcasts, and website feed.  Thank you to everyone who shares our content on several social media platforms that allow others to find and recognize our content.  Thank you to everyone who spreads the word about this online community informing others that they are not alone.

THANK YOU.

Luvz and Huggz,

Jamie