Meet Your Black Geek Friends: Damion Poitier And B. Dave Walters

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From video games and comics to movies and books, our hosts Damion Poitier and B. Dave Walters create a safe and open forum to ask questions and discuss topics surrounding the need for and spread of diversity in pop culture. Catch Ask Your Black Geek Friend every Monday at 8:30pm PST on Twitch and  Alpha.

Look around and you’ll see that your fellow geeks come in all sizes, shapes, and colors. And we nerd out on all sorts of things: movies, TV shows, books, comics, games, and whatever’s captured our hearts, minds, and souls at any given moment. But for all of the diversity in the things we obsess over, it’s easy to end up with a narrow view of these same things. Sometimes we tend to see things through a single lens, often forgetting that nerds come from all across the spectrum.

In their weekly show Ask Your Black Geek Friend, Damion Poitier and B. Dave Walters offer a dose of geekdom as seen through their unique perspectives.

“Our goal is to foster conversation,” Walters said. “It’s a general geek conversation, but seen through a black geek’s perspective.

“For example, some people might genuinely feel threatened by the all-black cast of Black Panther. They might feel it’s a form of discrimination and we’ll say, ‘No, and here’s why.’”

Poitier saw the need for fans to understand some of the things that others might find objectionable. “I noticed a gap between understanding the root of some minority distaste with events in fandom and a rational forum for discussing the whys and wherefores,” he said. “We as fans become so passionate about things we like that we often forget to discuss them rather than argue about them. We all love the things; let’s come together and make the things more lovable.”

But the show isn’t strictly an issues-only forum. “We tend to talk about generic geek stuff,” Walters said, “like The Dark Tower movie and why it didn’t work as a movie, not necessarily because of Idris Elba.”

Walters is no stranger to holding social-issues-related conversations in geekdom. As a regular panelist at Comic Con, he’s talked about portrayals of minorities, women, and LGBT characters in different mediums. It was at one of these panels where he met Poitier.

“He and I began dialoguing about these issues,” he recalled, “and we realized there was an opportunity to present a different view on things. We wanted to showcase the places where diversity and inclusion are being highlighted.”

This doesn’t stop the duo from discussing the things they’re passionate about, regardless of where those things fall in the bigger picture of representation such as Game of Thrones.

“I can talk about Game of Thrones all day,” Walter laughed, “but you can’t use that show as a hallmark of diversity and inclusiveness.”

Who do you go to with your geek-related questions? Tell us in the comments!

Featured Image Credit: Geek & Sundry

Ruel Gaviola is a writer and educator based in Southern California. He loves board games, books, cooking, traveling, date nights with his wife, and Star Wars. He reviews games and reports news for and his name rhymes with Superman’s Kryptonian name. Follow him on Twitter

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