Every now and then on social media someone will write an article on Nerdy Black men and why Black women in particular don’t want them. The most recent case was when people were making a big deal out of Donald Glover’s choice of a mate. What I have observed in these types of articles was the suggestion that the Black men seen as nerdy were somehow “dusty.” Oh really.
For those not familiar with Black urban vernacular a dusty man is an unkempt man with serious hygiene issues. We’ve all seen them. Their hair looks like it hasn’t been introduced to a comb, the teeth look like they’ve never seen a dentist, and the clothes look like the type that a second hand store would refuse. Plus they probably smell.
Okay, okay, I think we can give women a pass on this account. Most mentally healthy men would not want to be bothered with a dusty woman. Fair exchange is no robbery. The question I have is, “Are these men really dusty?” I would say the answer is no.
An honest look at Black men who are either considered nerdy or self-identify as nerds will show overall a clean cut group of men. Indeed I would call them a conservative group of men. As a whole Black male nerds will not have a lot of visible tattoos if they have any at all. They will typically have well-kept hair and most know what to do in a shower. Overall they are just regular brothas who may not even have nerdy interests but will have the label attached to them because they lack that thing called “swag.”
In the Black community style is very important. Black folks value form over function. We would rather spend extra money on a luxury car that strains our budgets as opposed to an economy car that will leave money in our bank account every month. We would rather wear three hundred dollar basketball shoes (even though the wearer might not actually play basketball), than a pair of comfortable shoes that will last us longer. I assert that some brothas are called dusty because they are not following the latest fads and trends.
Also I find it ironic that many Black women will call Nerdy Black men dusty when so many will not only sleep with a dusty brotha but also have his babies. Many Black men in the “Pookie and Ray Ray Tribe” can justifiably be labeled as dusty. Not only do these dusty men get plenty of attention but many women will move these men into their homes and let them drive their cars. Interestingly these men are rarely called dusty by the same women who will call a nerdy brotha dusty.
Incidentally I know I have publicly stated that the Pookie and Ray Ray thing is overblown. Keep in mind that I never said it didn’t happen. Some of those brothas are dusty though.
A problem we have here is that in public forums Black women don’t want to acknowledge their real preferences. In public forums Black women will constantly announce to the world that there is a shortage of “Good Black Men.” It gets interesting when these women describe what they want in a man. Often the nerdy brothas have these traits. So then the same Black women have to justify why they are not getting with these brothas. They are not going to come out and say that these brothas don’t look a certain way or that they lack swag. Collectively Black women have to justify their rejection of these men. Thus the label, “dusty” is applied.
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