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29 Geek Founders & Professionals That Are Making Black History

Black Geeks Making History is a series where we highlight noteworthy individuals within that Black community that are making an impact on mainstream geek culture.

Black History Month is well on its way, along with #29DaysOfBlackCosplay on Instagram. While we graciously and humbly honor and appreciate the ancestors that came before us and paved a way for Black Americans today through the Civil Rights Movement, we also want to make sure that we honor the Black achievers who are making strides today.

While their are many amazing hardworking Black founders and professionals in the United States across several industries, The Daily Quirk honors founders, creators and professionals who are changing the landscape for Black geeks and Black nerds (“blerds”) everywhere. This list consists of black geek founders that we believe are creating movements or providing representation that will have a lasting effect on future generations. 

You have been paid for. Each of you, Black, White, Brown, Yellow, Red—whatever pigment you use to describe yourselves—has been paid for. But for the sacrifices made by some of your ancestors, you would not be here; they have paid for you.

 

So, when you enter a challenging situation, bring them on the stage with you; let their distant voices add timbre and strength to your words. For it is your job to pay for those who are yet to come.

 

-Dr. Maya Angelou

Here is a list of 29 Black geek founders and professionals that we believe are making Black History:

1. Johnny O’Bryant, CEO of Noir Caesar

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Noir Caesar is a digital entertainment and publication company dedicated to the production of diverse and original content.  Noir Caesar has positioned itself to become a global brand that readers and viewers can rely on to create stories full of diversity, without sacrificing quality. With influences ranging from Japanese manga and animation, western comics, fashion (streetwear), music (hip-hop), and various forms of cinema; Noir has created a unique style of its own that can be appreciated by the masses.

2. Von Phoenix, Co-founder of Punk Black

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Punk Black is an ATL based event series and media network that features P.O.C. in the Rock, Art, Cosplay and Nerd communities. 

3. Mike Toney, Creator of Black Anime Lost Chill-dren of the Diaspora

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Black Anime Lost Chill-dren of the Diaspora is an art book comprised of 94 pages of original black anime content. The book is split into 4 sections: Original characters, Future stories, Fan-art, and growth. All the characters themselves are just as diverse and different as the different types of black people all over the world

4. Destiny Senpai, Getting Animated

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Destiny Senpai is providing a voice for women who like anime. The Getting Animated Podcast is a weekly show that goes over Anime News & Topics, topped with Black Girl Magic.

5. Hilton George, Founder of BlerdCon

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Blerdcon is an event that highlights and celebrates Blerd culture and creates a marketplace of ideas where sharing that culture can take place with proper context, attribution and positivity in an inclusive environment. Blerdcon celebrates the LGBTQ, the disabled, POCs and the international community.

6. Erin Ashley Simon, TV Host at Cheddar Esports

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Forbes has named Erin Ashley Simon the Black Latina storyteller of the future of esports. Simon is a co-host of Cheddar’s daily esports/gaming show called Cheddar Esports and was recently signed to be represented by the famed talent agency CAA.

7. Dominique Barrett aka King Vader, Director

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Known originally for his account on Vine (#RIPVine), King Vader has since grown his Instagram and YouTube following to millions and has produced fan favorite shorts, including his Hood Naruto series. King Vader sets out to become the best director of our generation and we are here for it.

8. Jacque Aye, Founder of Adorned By Chi and Chigami Studios

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Adorned By Chi started as a lifestyle brand, but has evolved into an immersive comic series about 5 Nigerian college students who find they’ve been chosen by Igbo Goddesses to defeat a mysterious beast. The brand has also signed with MWM and its MWM Universe division. The development deal was announced by MWMu’s Morgan Kruger, EVP Operations, and Diana Williams, EVP of Creative.

9. Delane Parnell, Founder and CEO of Play VS

 

 
 
 
 
 
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PlayVS is the official high school esports league. The company has raised $50 million from investors and provides a robust online platform that enables schools to easily build and manage teams, check schedules, and track stats, all with real-time support.

10. Sidney Keys III, Founder of Books N Bros

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Sidney Keys III, 13 year old rising entrepreneur, decided to take his love for reading to the next level and create Books n Bros Reading Club at the young age of 10. Having multiple meet ups with different boys, ages 7-13 years old, he is paving the way for change. Books n Bros is not only encouraging literacy within Black Culture & African American Literature, but also Entrepreneurship, Financial Literacy and Endless Possibilities! The company has been featured in several press outlets, including Good Morning America, Oprah and CNN.

11. Jay-Ann Lopez, Founder of Black Girl Gamers

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Black Girl Gamers is a online platform based community that aims to positively promote diversity and affect change within the gaming industry.  Initially created as a safe space in 2015, void of the sexism and racism (misogynoir) widely experienced in gaming, the platform has grown from its original purpose to become the hub for all things gaming from the black woman perspective.

With a membership of 2400 multifaceted gamers, streamers and game developers that continues to grow, the BGG community has become a visible and impactful movement being featured in the press and on panels to provide insight into how Black Women experience gaming and how to progress forward.

12. Michael James, co-founder of AfroComicCon

 

 
 
 
 
 
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This event provides a supportive climate for our multifaceted, art, tech-media, learning, and networking experience that showcases the talents of underrepresented groups such as professionals of color, and women. “We provide a positive atmosphere which fosters creativity and innovation, encouraging the free flow of ideas and exchanges through respectful, trusting, and caring communication during the three-day conference.”

 

13. Gabe Kunda, Voice Actor at FUNimation 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Gabe Kunda is an American voice actor affiliated with FUNimation Entertainment. He is best known for Code Geass: Fukkatsu No Lelouch, Black Clover, and most recently being Rock Lock from My Hero Academia. Outside of voice acting, Kunda is also working with friend Brandon Crumbly to produce a mecha anime called Star Child.

14. Dr. Jakita Thomas and Erich Thomas, Founders of Pharaoah’s Conclave

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Based in Atlanta, Pharaoah’s Conclave is a black-owned, women-owned eSports league for Georgia schools. The company exposes, engages, and prepares elementary, middle school and high school-aged youth to eSports career pathways.

15. Luther, Gregory, Imani and Vanta at L.A.N. Party and Girls Game Night

 

 
 
 
 
 
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L.A.N. Party a podcast from NYC for Gamers, Otaku’s, and Comic book fans alike. The group gives real honest talk on the gaming/nerd culture from a different perspective. Not only is the collective producing a podcast, they have created a movement in New York with their event series Girls Game Night, now hosted at OS New York and previously Microsoft.

16. Mark and Affiong, Founding members of RDC World1 and Dream Con

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Dream Con is an anime and gaming convention that started as a dream but was brought to fruition by social media influencers, RDC World1. RDC World1 dreamed of bringing together like-minded individuals to enjoy and celebrate multiple interests including pop culture, comics, art, cosplay, music and much more. Having Dream Con take place in their hometown, Waco, TX, made it all the more meaningful for them.

17. Chaka Cumberbatch, Social Media Pokemon and 28 Days of Black Cosplay

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by ✨Chaka Cumberbatch-Tinsley✨ (@princessology) on


Yes, the social facing persona of your favorite childhood (and adulthood) memories is from a Black woman. Cumberbatch has worked her way up from social media associate in 2017 to social media manager. Also, if you have ever used the hashtag #28DaysOfBlackCosplay, you have her to thank.

18. Karama Horne, Founder of TheBlerdGurl

 

 
 
 
 
 
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 Today with over 20K engaged followers on twitter and over 10K followers on Instagram, theblerdgurl brand is now recognized throughout genre entertainment as an authority on geekdom, inclusion and the large often ignored sub-fandom of Black nerds or #blerds. Horne is also a co-host on several large podcasts and is a contributing writer to SYFYWire. ” My goal is to provide commentary and perspective from the often overlooked black nerd demographic, from a snarky female point of view.”

19. The Team at Urban Anime Lounge

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Urban Anime Lounge (UAL) is a social community dedicated to the Black Geek Culture Experience including anime, manga, comics, cosplay and much more. The UAL community has a combined following and reach of over 13,000 unique individuals. If you are a part of UAL, you know that it is the best Facebook group you have ever been in. They do an annual virtual secret Santa and plan meetups throughout the year.

20. Len Webb, Kennedy Allen, Erik Darden, Randy Green, Isaiah Luck of Black Tribbles and Ariell Johnson of Amalgam Comics and Coffeehouse

 

 
 
 
 
 
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See Also


 Black Tribbles is Philadelphia’s #1 Geek radio show. Since 2011, the Black Tribbles have entertained Philly and the world over with their unique perspective on geek culture of every flavor. Broadcasting Thursdays on WPPM 106.5FM and available everywhere via iTunes, SoundCloud or anywhere that you listen to podcasts. Ariell is not only a cohost of the show, but also the founder of the first black woman-owned comic shop on the east coast, Amalgam Comics and Coffeehouse.

21. Eunice, Founder of Black Girls Anime

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Eunice started @blackgirlsanime in 2017 with the hope to create a safe space for black women that love anime and its culture. Since then, the page has rapidly grown into a network that influences and advocates for not only black women, but people of color of all ages and backgrounds that feel underrepresented in the anime community.

22. Deirdre Hollman, Founder of The Black Comics Collective

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The Black Comics Collective is a digital and live forum for connecting comic creators of color with the community that craves them. The organization is also the founder of #BlackComicsWeek and hosted the BAM Black Comix Expo in Brooklyn, NY. The purpose of the organization is to expose more young people to the work of black artists and storytellers. 

23. Uraeus of Black Heroes Matter

 

 
 
 
 
 
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“BLACK HEROES MATTER represents a paradigm shift; a change in the prevailing philosophy that governs pop culture. It’s an SOS call to creators of color, urging them to bring to life positive, well-balanced heroes that reflect our best selves to the nation, the world-at-large, and most importantly, to our children; without any apology. It’s also a call to consumers, urging them to demand the same; nothing less than positive, well-balanced representation in media.”

24. Glory Edim, Founder of Well Read Black Girl

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Well-Read Black Girl (WRBG) is a book club turned literary festival based in Brooklyn, NY. WRBG provides a vital space for Black women readers and writers to connect and grow in conversation. Since launching in 2015, WRBG has steadily grown into a thriving online community of 237K passionate Instagram followers. Through reading our community addresses racial inequity in publishing and pays homage to the literary legacies of Black women writers like Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, and Maya Angelou.

25. Greg Burnham and Marcus Williams, Tuskegee Heirs

 

 
 
 
 
 
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From the minds of local Atlanta illustrator, Marcus Williams and children’s book author Greg Burnham comes the “Tuskegee Heirs: Flames of Destiny” comic series. Tuskegee Heirs is a futuristic sci-fi adventure that follows a squadron of young, gifted aviators, who are forced to become Earth’s last line of defense against a menacing race of artificially intelligent villains bent on destroying civilization. The duo looks to pay homage to the historic Tuskegee Airmen, while bringing forth a new set of character rich, young heroes. With a graphic novel set to release mid 2016, Marcus and Greg intend to push this project towards animation.

26. Andre Meadows, Actor and Founder of Black Nerd Comedy

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Talk about an OG, Andre is definitely making a name for black nerds in Hollywood and on YouTube with his company, Black Nerd Comedy. He is an actor and writer, known for The Nostalgia Chick (2008), Power Rangers HyperForce (2017) and How It Should Have Ended (2005).

27. Danielle aka Ebonixsims, Sims Content Creator

 

 
 
 
 
 
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When Danielle, aka Ebonixsims, wanted to make a computer game character in her image, she found that she couldn’t. London-based Danielle realised there was something missing, and that black gamers were underrepresented in character creation – so she started making custom video game content. After Grammy award-winning rapper T-Pain used her creations, Danielle wants to help gaming companies improve their diversity and representation.

28. Searit Huluf, Gamers Short Film

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The Gamers short film shed light on Black and LGBT+ gamers in the world of e-sports. In the film, an amateur female gamer is given a once in a lifetime opportunity to try out for a pro league gaming team, only to be repressed by self-doubt. Since launching in 2019, the film has been shown at over 20 film festivals across North America and Germany.

29. Tony Weaver Jr., Founder and CEO of Weird Enough Productions

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Weird Enough Productions is a new media production company dedicated to creating positive media images of black men and other minority groups. By creating programming with a focus on diversity, Weird Enough produces profitable content that appeals to critical demographics, while also directly combating media misrepresentation. Through media literacy education, Weird Enough academically addresses the problem and empowers young people with the knowledge to analyze, evaluate, and create their own media.

 

Honorable mention: Bryanda Law, Founder of Quirktastic

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Love building @quirktastic_co with these awesome ladies 🦄🤘🏾 #QuirkSquad #ThisIsWhatAGeekLooksLike

A post shared by Bryanda “Bee” Law 🐝 (@bryanda_co) on


 Bryanda is the founder of  Quirktastic Inc, which houses the Quirktastic friendship app for geeks, The Quirk Shop and The Daily Quirk 😉

Please note that this is not a complete list of all of the amazing founders, creators and professionals that are making geek history in the Black community. Support the awesome people above and drop some names that we missed in the comment section! 

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