"I'm Blerd and I'm Proud"

"I'm Blerd and I'm Proud"

The 2024 Blerd and Powerful® Women's History Month T-Shirt Design Contest paid tribute to the vibrant and inspiring Black women animated characters who have left an indelible mark on our hearts and screens. From formidable warriors to sage mentors and everything in between, the aim was to spotlight the diversity and strength of these characters who have pioneered representation and empowerment. Contestants were tasked with incorporating all colors of the Blerd and Powerful® logo into their designs.

For Brin Campbell of Chicago, IL, the contest evoked memories of watching DC shows and delving into comics with her brothers, where she found inspiration in her favorite black and gold character, Bumblebee. Karen Beecher-Duncan, aka Bumblebee, is one of the few Black women to hold the title of hero in mainstream comics. A self-made hero, Karen designed and constructed her own super-suit, granting her an array of abilities including flight, powerful blasts, and enhanced strength and agility. Brin's affection for Bumblebee's persona and design motivated her choice to depict her in the contest, alongside the declaration "Blerd and Proud," reflecting her upbringing in a household of unapologetic Black nerds.

Brin's submission, "I'm Blerd and I'm Proud," can also be seen as an homage to the iconic James Brown anthem, "Say it Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud," which emerged while Black people were still deeply grieving the loss of civil rights icon, Martin Luther King Jr. Just as Brown's song challenged societal attitudes towards Blackness, Brin's artwork confronts historical struggles faced by Blerds—Black nerds—fighting for acceptance within their own community and beyond.

Today, the landscape is shifting, with Blerds embracing their passions openly and witnessing a surge in mainstream recognition. Blerd and Powerful® proudly welcomes Brin's artwork into its legacy, offering "I'm Blerd and I'm Proud" merch for a limited time during Women's History Month. A portion of the proceeds will support the contest winner, providing a meaningful way to support the artist. Don't miss your chance to grab one between March 8th and March 31st!

Brin does commissions so make sure to follow her on Instagram, @knjbrin_, and on tumblr, @knjbrin.

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