Writing About American Culture and Politics with Very Smart Brothas

A website called Very Smart Brothas discusses modern issues through a witty, intelligent, and decidedly black lens. With articles titled “20 Things You Ain’t Gon’ Do In A Black Household” and “White People S**t That Black People (Not So) Secretly Love”, co-creators Panama Jackson and Damon Young discuss pop culture, parenting, dating, politics, and yes, being black in America.

Young writes on VSB:

Perhaps, because I’ve managed to create a popular blog and etch out a career where people pay me money to write words about things on a computer screen so that people can read them, you’ve assumed that I have unique insights to offer. This is understandable, as you’re not the first and will not be the last person to assume that all successful people have unique insights on being successful that would be applicable to everyone, but you specifically.

Unfortunately, this is not true. I have no template to offer and no substantive and specific advice to give. I could, however, tell you how it worked and continues to work for me. That the only reason that VSB is what it is today is because I can’t (and don’t want to) do anything else. 

Jackson and Young join Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson to discuss why they started the site, and how it’s evolved over a decade. VSB contributors write about sometimes difficult or heady topics with a conversational, candid tone you might expect of a close friend or relative.

We live in a blunt world, so we tend to be very blunt sometimes,” says Jackson. “We use levity to soften the blow sometimes, but that blow needs to happen.”

To hear more from Jackson and Young on Detroit Today, click on the audio player above.

Image credit: WDET

About the Author

Detroit Today

Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.


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