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This resistance is one of the reasons Black people are hesitant to partake in nerd culture, according to Broadnax. They often have to fight to get their voices heard.

photo: GIPHY

"I think the challenge we currently face is just being able to have our voices acknowledged," she said. "If we have concerns about issues of race, gender or sexuality, just listen. Listening to marginalized voices are important because often we don't get a seat at the table."

For Pulliam-Moore, who has routinely written about inclusion in comics, it's all about having as many people from marginalized communities as possible critiquing comics.

"At times, it can seem as if, like, the 'diversity in comics' beat is almost too crowded, but then there are moments where you zoom out and take stock of the writing that’s out there and what writing is looked to as being authoritative," he said. "You realize that there can never be enough women, people of color, and queer folks writing about this stuff because once there’s a mass of us, our voices stop being seen as niche and become part of what shapes the paradigm."

Black nerds are particularly vocal when it comes to the lack of on-screen diversity. Even though Netflix has "Luke Cage," there's a Black superhero on "The Flash" and "Supergirl," and comic books have experienced an explosion of diversity, but most superheroes are still white, straight men.

"It may be that a majority of superheroes are white males," comic book artist Neil Adams told The Huffington Post Canada. "But that's because they used to all be white males, except for Wonder Woman and Black Canary, and maybe one or two others."

Black nerds are rising to the challenge though. With movements like #28DaysOfCosplay, Black nerds are resisting the exclusion in nerd culture.

photo: GIPHY

Broadnax created Black Girl Nerds in February 2012 after Googling the term and not finding content that represented her. She created her Black Girl Nerds blog the same night. 

"[It] went from being a blog about me and my personal musings, to a website filled with tons of content and several different perspectives—a lifestyle magazine of sorts," Broadnax told Paste Magazine. "I never expected that it would grow to be this."

Black Girl Nerds isn't the only online community dedicated to nerds of color. As Broadnax pointed out, there's also The Nerds of Color, A Tribe Called Geeks, and The Black Geeks. She's partnering with The Black Geeks for Universal Fan Con, which she described as a convention "devoted to inclusion of people of color, women, LGBTQ, and people with disabilities."

For Glover, writing underrepresented characters and praising inclusive shows are his way of resisting exclusion in nerd culture.

"I write screenplays meant for underrepresented actors and characters, and I have every intention of getting them sold," he said. "I'm traveling to the Los Angeles area next week to take part in a screenwriting fellowship, and while I'm there I'll be networking to circulate my script featuring an all-female core cast and queer characters."

All of this is part of taking a rightful seat the table, according to Pulliam-Moore.

"There’s this idea that if your knowledge of [insert fandom here] isn't encyclopedic that you don't deserve to move through certain spheres," he said. "That's bullshit. Show up and have a good time."

It seems their resistance is working.

photo: GIPHY

Diversity is beginning to improve on-screen and in comic books. Miles Morales is SpiderMan. "Supergirl" has a LGBTQ storyline. "Black Panther" is getting his own solo movie.

Pulliam-Moore is glad that comics are becoming more inclusive.

"Progress, like a legacy character's coming out or the creation of a new character of color who taking up the mantle of an established white character, is always a good thing because, on a fundamental level what they're doing is challenging readers and viewers to expand their ideas of who those characters can be," he said.

Broadnax warns against getting comfortable though.

"These minor improvements are helping," she said. "And let's put an emphasis on the word minor, because there's still a lot of work to do."

Pulliam-Moore agrees. "It's great that Iceman is gay now and America Chavez is starring in her own book, but that doesn’t mean that people should stop pushing Marvel to include more queer characters across their portfolio of titles."

For Glover, these minor improvements matter, especially as a 30-year-old comic book fan.

"I have needed and appreciated every effort to diversify — every effort. It doesn't happen enough, but it goes such a long way when it does."

This story has been updated to include comments from Charles Pulliam-Moore.