Catching up with Jamie Broadnax
We had the opportunity to chat with Jamie Broadnax, creator of the inclusive pop culture publication and podcast, Black Girl Nerds, and chatted about BGN's nine year journey, inspiring Black communities, and what's next for her. Here's what she had to say:
Q: Who is Jamie Broadnax? If we had met for coffee, what would I remember most about you?
A: Jamie Broadnax is a geeky girl who got lucky enough to own a super cool company called Black Girl Nerds. I'm shy, but over time once I warm up to you and get to know you I'm actually kinda fun to chill with. You will remember most that I'm the girl that loves fangirl over all things nostalgic 80s movies, 90s songs, and music videos. I'm that person!
Q: It's been nine (!) years of BGN. How has your vision for the site grown and changed over time? Did you ever imagine so many people would be drawn to your community?
A: Yes! We turned 9 years old on Feb 1st! Can you believe it? I can't believe I've been running this publication for this long, it's pretty wild. I'll be honest, I had no vision when I started it. It was just a blog about me and my personal musings about geek culture. However, now it has shifted to a company and an online news media publication that reports on all things entertainment. We've expanded beyond being a social media page to being a reputable source for news and information. I never imagined celebrities and notable people in entertainment would be drawn to BGN. It's still pretty wild when our name is mentioned to various people in entertainment and they're like "Oh I know you guys! I love your Twitter!" or "I totally read the articles on your website!"
Q: When you founded BGN, you recognized that there weren't many, if any online communities, where people who identified as "geeky-dorky" could also proudly celebrate being a person of color. Now more than ever, more people are coming together to create communities for POC in the pop culture and geekdom space. Do you feel like BGN helped inspire others to start their own communities?
A: I'll say this, I know that before BGN there were little to no spaces for Black people in fandom which is why I created this space in the first place. So I'm grateful that I planted the seed and others have done the same and have harvested and grown their own respective communities. That's exactly what is mentioned on our About Us page. To encourage others to create their own niche communities and normalize Black people and people of color in fandom. We're no longer an anomaly, and it's a beautiful thing to see.
Q: What was the most impactful interview or story you've ever written? What made it so special?
A: It was definitely the moment I got to interview Oprah Winfrey and Tarell Alvin McCraney for OWNTV's 'David Makes Man'. Meeting and getting a chance to interview Oprah was on my bucket list. She was also impressed by the audio recording device I had with me on the interview which made me feel extra special. I've always gone out of my way to make sure I have the best equipment with me when I do field interviews. Meeting your mentor and getting a chance to interview them was a big accomplishment and that meant a lot to me.
Q: How do you think BGN has helped shape the conversation surrounding representation of black people in pop culture, movies and comics?
A: I think we've normalized seeing Black people in front and behind the scenes of creating comics, movies, and other forms of entertainment. Obviously, Black people creating content has been around since the beginning of time, but I remember it being so difficult finding Black people represented in the fandom community back in 2012 when I started BGN. Oh yes, they were there, they just were not given a platform to be represented. I'm happy that BGN has been and continues to be a platform for so many independent creators out there.
Q: You've launched a podcast, written hundreds of articles and given people a community and a voice. That's a lot, but I have a feeling you're not finished. What's next for Jamie?
A: Haha. Definitely not. What's next is making BGN full time for the freelancers that devote so much incredible content to the publication. I've finally achieved my goal of doing BGN as my full-time career. Not an easy feat. I want to offer that opportunity to other women who also want to build with BGN. I've also been looking into what's happening in the fintech industry and how it cross-pollinates with gaming. I'm not going to share more than that, but I think some really exciting things will be in store for our future!