Released as a counterpart to Dr. Kyla McMullen’s viral “Sexy Black Female Scientists” list, “Brilliant Is the New Black” showcases 105 Black men who are challenging the stereotypical images of scientists in the media.
From the first African-American male to graduate from the University of Chicago with a genetics degree to an avid snowboarder, a wide range of professionals from varying fields are represented in this new database.
McMullen tapped Dr. Brian A. Burt, assistant professor in the Higher Education department at Iowa State University, to pen the introduction.
"This list serves as evidence of examples of men who have overcome many challenges in their respective scientific fields and endeavors,” Burt wrote. "Like the women featured in the 'Sexy Black Female Scientists' article, this compilation of talented men defying the odds in academia will help to (re)define what it looks like and what it means to be young, gifted, Black, and interested in science for generations of Black men to come. Let's change the narrative.”
Burt also pointed to the need for more positive role models for Black boys and young men, given the "assassination" of the Black male image in the media and the “actual threats of violence” on their lives.
“[The lists] are not gonna capture everybody in the world, but I will put up as many people as I can to make sure that they’re still visible,” McMullen told BET.com last June.
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(Photo: Brilliant is The New Black)