Quirktastic Media July 30, 2015
If I had it my way, all of the quirky, brown chicks of the world would come together, become friends and sing kumbaya while listening to Solange and drinking craft beer. Until that day comes, I present to you the Quirky, Brown Chick series. Meet Jamila of Girl Gone Geek.
My style is pretty moody because it’s based off how I’m feeling that day. My closet is a blend of geeky shirts, African wax prints, kawaii clothes, bright prints, mens tees and even some Lolita pieces. Although my default look is all black everything. I have so much black I could be an honorary Addams family member.
2. What song are you vibing with right now?
“I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)” by Jamie xx featuring Young Thug and Popcaan. When I first heard that song I listed to it on repeat for an hour straight. It has everything I’d want in a summer song; a fun upbeat sound, a dancehall artist and a trap rapper.
3. Favorite place that you have traveled?
My mom was in the Air Force, so I’ve lived and traveled the world my entire life. Wanderlust is in my blood. Out of all of the places I’ve been Rome is my favorite with Marrakech, Morocco as close second. Being a military brat, I have to also add that Hawaii is my favorite place that I’ve called home. I lived there 8 years and it was paradise.
Asking a geek girl to pick just one favorite pastime is pretty tough, but I’d have to narrow it down to reading shoujo and josei manga. Manga are Japanese comics, and my favorite categories are shoujo and josei which are for young and adult women. My favorite stories range from innocent high school love to mature and depressing young adult drama and millennial stories.
5. What is something about you that people wouldn't expect?
This is pretty tough since I feel like I either blog or tweet about stuff that I like. But I guess some people would be surprised to hear that I love chopped and screwed music especially chopped not slopped by OG Ron C and his Chopstars crew.
6. Tell us about your blogs!
I started Girl Gone Geek back in 2010 as a way for me to talk about my geeky obsessions. Back then, I didn’t have a lot of friends who liked anime, video games, comics, sci-fi and fantasy. Geek culture has always been apart of my life, and I wanted an excuse to talk about it and hopefully make some geek friends (which I did).
Over time, my blog goal changed. I realized that I wasn’t the only one who felt alone in my geekiness, especially being a black geek girl. So Girl Gone Geek became a way for me to show other geek girls that they weren’t alone. Even if they don’t have any other geek friends (right now), they weren’t the only girl who loves anime and comics. There’s a comfort in knowing that you’re not alone, even if it is over the internet. I had no idea my blog would grow in the way that is has. It’s still hard for me to believe some of the amazing opportunities I’ve had because of Girl Gone Geek.
Straight Outta Gotham is a tumblr blog I created last year where I make memes and GIFs out of geeky rap lyrics (there are more than you think). I was recently asked by TIDAL to create a San Diego Comic Con inspired playlist which I named, “Straight Outta Gotham: Geek Culture in Hip-Hop”.
Last but not least is Geek Girl Brunch, which I co-founded with my friends Rachel and Yissel. It’s a meet-up group of ladies who geek out over brunch. Our goal is to create a safe environment where identifying geek girls can be themselves to give voice, network, create friendships, inspire each other and hang out! It’s our IRL safe haven for geek girls which is something that’s pretty hard for geek girls to find. We launched last year in NYC and has grown rapidly since then. We already have over 1,500 members and 64 chapters around the world!
7. What/who inspires you?
I’d say the stars have been a strong inspiration for me these last few years. Living in NYC you can’t really see the stars because of the light pollution which really bums me out. The stars remind me that we’re apart of an infinite and amazing universe and not seeing them really messes with me subconsciously. Sometimes it makes people feel small, but it makes me feel important. Out of all of this, I exist. Thinking about stars in that way has inspired some comic book stories I plan to write in the future.
8. What stereotypes about the Black community do you wish you could destroy?
All of them really, but, to pick just one would be the stereotype that black people don’t read comics or play video games. Nothing could be further from the truth. I’m a testament to that. This stereotype gives comic and video game publishers the (poor) excuse to exclude blacks from being on creative teams or not creating black characters in their stories and media. They have the mindset of, “Well if they aren’t reading/playing it, why should we include them?” The same could be said about women as well, especially women of color. I even spoke about this on the Women of Color in Comics Panel at New York Comic Con last year.
When they do include us, it’s just one character here or there and they honestly expect that to be enough. Something else I’ve been seeing a lot lately are publishers appropriating parts of black culture that they feel they can make money off of and label it as them being diverse. But when you take a look inside their offices and creative teams, they are still majority white and male.
When it comes down to it, there’s a lot of systemic racism and sexism in geek culture which we clearly see in the comic book and video game industries. The stereotypes that people of color and women don’t play video games and read comics is part of the problem.
I’m all over the internet! You can find me here: