Millennial Media Entrepreneur Throws Party For 300 ‘Blerds’ at Black Panther Screening

Tonight, the blerds (a portmanteau of ‘black’ and ‘nerd’) meet Black Panther. Not literally though.

Organized by Fabulize Magazine in New York City, 300 black nerds, or blerds, as they call themselves, will attend what is being deemed the biggest private screening of Marvel’s highly anticipated movie, Black Panther.

“My readers convinced me to hold this private event because they wanted to celebrate not just Black Panther but they see how powerful and important black heroes are,” Erika Hardison, founder of the magazine said in a press release. “This is an exciting time to be a minority indie creator so I wanted to make sure they were included in this celebration too.”

The fun doesn’t stop there.

Love Seat, an independent film directed by Victorious De Costa will also be shown. The silent film, accompanied by soul music, follows the relationship between a man, a woman, and a couch.

The private screening will also feature guests such as Grammy-nominated singer, Berry Boo; Global Music Awards winner, Militia Vox; singers Mela Machinko and Shinuh; HOT 97’s DJ Absolut, Glyph Award-winning comic book artist, N. Steven Harris; Greg Burnham of Tuskegee Heirs; Tim and Jim Fielder of Dieselfunk Studios; Khem Comic Book Fest founder and P.B. Soldier creator Naseed Gifted; professional basketball players, Cleanthony Early and Anali Okoloji, and a host of other influencers, artists, and creatives.

“The ultimate goal I have is to create a community that wants to celebrate Afrofuturism all the time. Not just in art, but in progressive ideologies, whether it’s in their identities or their everyday lives. We all deserve to see ourselves in media,” Hardison said.

The magazine—available in print and online—celebrates art, beauty, style, and culture for the black nerd (blerd), black feminist (womanist) and has created a Facebook page after its popular editorial, “My Superheroes Are Black!” The “My Superheroes Are Black!” Mixtape, Vol. 1 is Fabulize‘s most successful issue to date, according to the press release.

“I created Fabulize because I wanted to see and read about black and brown girls every day,” Hardison said. “When I pick up a print copy of Fabulize there are black girls and women of color on every page. It might seem short-sighted to some but it’s necessary and unfortunately, there aren’t many platforms that give us that.”

Fabulize Magazine‘s current issue features former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun, Anthony Piper, creator of Trill League, and Xmiramira, founder of The Black Simmer.

Hardison said she booked the only minority-owned theater in Brooklyn, New York, to solidify the importance of diversity.