The Black Geeks of Dragon Con (BGD) was founded to create an opportunity for Black Geeks to socialize, celebrate their love of cosplay, and increase awareness of geek diversity. Like many BGD members, the family and friends of founder Channing Sherman believed there was little to no African-American interest in science fiction and the associated conventions. “Are there any other Black people there” was a common question when he mentioned he was going to a convention. A faithful participant in Dragon Con, Sherman wanted to highlight the diversity at the popular Atlanta convention, so he began taking and posting pictures celebrating the increasing number of "Black Geek" he met at the convention. On Sunday, August 31, 2014, Sherman sat down with a few other Black geeks and, while going through some of his pictures, they discussed ways to get more Black geeks together at the next convention. The photo shoot was born. BGD held its first photo shoot to honor the growing African-American community in 2015. The first photo shoot featured a small group of enthusiastic cosplayers and photographers. Everyone had so much fun that, Sherman and his crew knew they were on to something and decided to come back and do it again the next year. BGD has been meeting every year since for photos and fellowship.
Participation in BGD has increased each year. Last year's photo shoot had more than 200 Black Geeks in attendance.
No, please wear any costume that you’d like. If you want to come as a non-minority character, that’s absolutely fine. We even have people who do not come in costume and just enjoy being a part of the BGD community.
Put on your favorite costume and join us at this year's photo shoot. It will be held Sept. 2 from 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. on the back steps of the Hilton Hotel.
Everyone is welcome.
BGD is not exclusionary. We welcome all who want to celebrate the diversity of the convention.
Who Should Come?
If you love to cosplay, put on your best costume and come mingle with other cosplayers of color. Marvel at the extraordinary costumes and be the center of attention as you pose for photos that could be seen across the country.
Love taking pictures? Bring your camera or smartphone so you can record history in the making at the next BGD photo shoot. There will be lots of great costumes and photo ops. You won't be disappointed.
Prefer not to dress up? Not a problem. You can simply hang out, admire the fantastic costumes and support others.
Are you a journalist or blogger? The BGD photo shoot is a great place to find interesting people and stories. This is a chance for you to personally experience and document the diversity of the Dragon Con convention.
Say What Now?
I have attended DragonCon for a few years now and one question I get asked a lot from friends and family "Are there any other black people there?" There have also been stories about a lack of diversity at conventions and science fiction in general. This is just one way of showing that there is diversity at DragonCon. It's also a great way for other African-Americans to prove to others that they aren’t the only ones here.
Honestly, this is my first time trying something like this so I want to start small. If this catches on and becomes a thing I would be open to creating a Minority Geeks of DragonCon. I am not trying to be the official diversity officer of DragonCon so I don’t want to overstep my bounds. Right now I am just trying to stay in my lane.
I didn't start this to create an "us versus them" situation. I can promise you that starting a race war is not on my to do list. This is just a subset of convention goers getting together to take a photo. It's not a protest. It's not about putting any other race down. It about showing that there is some diversity there. If you think about it, it actually helps the convention.
I am not a professional photographer but I love taking pictures while I am there. I put together my first Black Geeks of Dragon gallery to show to some coworkers. It was meant to be more funny than anything else. It was my humorous way of saying "Here’s proof that I wasn’t the only one there." They were well received so I continued to do it. It was never anything official and I never targeted any specific group. I’d walk around taking a bunch of people regardless of race, creed or color. At the end when I uploaded them, I would create a second gallery just for photos of any black geeks I came across.
No, this is more about the people under that costume than the characters. If you want come as Green Arrow, Batman, Tony Stark, Rogue or any other non-minority character that’s fine. Just please don’t do white face.
Let some $hit go
Don't act a fool.
We Got the Hook Up!
Do you like the BGD purpose and want to help support the group? It will take resources to grow and publicize this group effectively. We'd love to partner with you and take BGD to the next level.
Hit Us Up!
We welcome all questions, comments and concerns but we ain't about dat foolishness.
Birnin Zana, Wakanda
Where You At?