Editor’s Letter: Issue 001, Season 01

“So, when did you fall in love with hip-hop?”


That’s a question many of us know all too well. It’s one of, if not the single most recognizable lines from the 2002 romantic comedy and cult classic: Brown Sugar. In this movie Andre (Taye Diggs) and Sidney (Sanaa Lathan) both recount their childhood love of hip-hop into their adult years where the two BFF’s would eventually become lovers all to the backdrop of their first love and the glue that held them together for15 years—hip hop.

            As an 80’s baby and a 90’s kid I grew up with a strong hip hop influence both inside and outside of the home. Even in all my lanky, bad skinned, thick glasses wearing nerdy glory I couldn’t escape the powerful cultural force that was hip hop and rap. With my word of the day and collection of comics and toys in tow I maneuvered the adolescent battlefield of insults, sports and horseplay. Somewhere between all those after school adventures and playground spats I found that most all childhood friends I had grew out of a few things we shared after happening to be in the same place at the same time: playing the dozens, hip hop music, television shows, sports and comic books to name a few.

            It is with that childhood mindset that I find myself knocking on the door of adulthood with a 40 hour work week in one hand and continuous responsibilities in the other. And it is out of that mindset that Carefree Black Nerd was born.

            One day I woke up and realized that I had missed out on the last few months and years because of the traditional adult trajectory I was cruising on. This was the day I decided to return to the things that brought me joy back in the day. I vowed to return to the things that I let escape me over the years: music, cartoons, comics, television shows, and food among other things. I wanted to reach back into my childhood and resurrect that nerdy adolescent I walked away from.

            Through Carefree Black Nerd I hope to get back to the quirky and weird things that I loved as a kid. I want to connect with others who share the same interest. I want to connect and work alongside others who may have a vision bigger or different from mine. I plan to dive back in and explore one of my first loves: writing. I just want to live in my art and enjoy the culture again. I have to make up for lost time. I need to find out what has happened to my favorite characters from the 80’s and 90’s.

            In this issue I begin my journey of reconnecting to and rediscovering that thick-glasses-wearing-lanky-cartoon-watching kid by digging into the old toy chest and dusting off the old comic books. I’ll acclimate myself to the culture by getting familiar with a few origin stories of some of comic’s mightiest and most interesting characters. As well as those in music and film and anything else that catches my eye.

            It is with a happy heart that I start this journey and I hope that you will help me take these steps of familiarizing myself to nerdom from the things in my past. And I hope you’ll help me fill in the blanks for the time I have lost over the years. I ask that you give me suggestions, ask me questions, give me recommendations and just plain ol’ connect with me. Thanks in advance.

            In the spirit of Brown Sugar and my childhood bedroom littered with action figures and cartoon themed wardrobe that I ask you the reader…

So, when did you fall in love with the nerd culture?

A.R. Sheppard

#Editor’s Letter | Season 1 | Issue 1