Lists, Pop Culture, Race & Politics, Theory & Essay

10 Reasons Why I’m Blacker Than You


I’m Black.

I know, I know, I know. It’s quite a surprise. I carry an oversized beige murse attache. If you look inside this oversized beige murse attache right now, you will find a book. (Which you know is some White shit cause niggas can’t read.) I live in Pittsburgh. I prefer mayo to Miracle Whip. I’ve never really been a huge fan of chicken. (I like it, but I think it’s slightly overrated.) Shit, I even know my dad. But, lo and behold, aside from that translucent stage I went through for the first two weeks of my life when I vaguely resembled the Pale Man from Pan’s Labyrinth, I’ve been Black for the majority of my time on Earth.

Lest I forget, I receive occasional conspicuous reminders of this Blackness. One occurred a few weeks ago, after I completed a half hour stretch that would definitely at least make honorable mention in a nationwide competition for the “Unnecessarily Blackest Half-Hour Stretch.”

To wit, I ate a couple pieces of fried chicken (I know) and washed it down with a couple red Little Hugs I took from the fellowship hall of a Baptist church the day before. When finished, I walked the Gay Reindeer’s pitbull, and when I got back inside, I called my parents and we spoke for 15 minutes about watermelon. Adding Blackness to injury, I had on a wifebeater, basketball shorts, and Tims (Didn’t feel like going upstairs to get some sneakers), and the couches in my living room—including the couch I happened to be sitting on while eating fried chicken and drinking Little Hugs—are black leather.

Basically, not only am I Black, I’m actually one of the Blackest people you’ll ever meet.

This Blackness was reiterated this week with my glee over the BlackBuzzFeed hashtag—where Black Twitter users parodied Buzz Feed by “repurposing it for a Black audience.” I usually don’t take part in Black Twitter’s daily hashtag orgies, but this time I couldn’t resist the urge to show off my shiny old Blackness, tweeting about any and everything from dating practices…

“Come Through” And 8 More Lazy Date Suggestions You’ll Accept If You Like Him Enough #BlackBuzzfeed

…to Morgan Freeman…

1997, And 24 More Years That Morgan Freeman Has Been Exactly 76 Years Old #BlackBuzzfeed

Still don’t believe I’m Blacker than you? Ok. Here’s why you should.

1. I came thisclose to just making “Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Niggaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!” an entire post after the Heat won the championship. (I seriously had to talk myself out of it.)

2. I’ve had the exact same hair cut for 18 years. Why? Because I’m Black, and Blackness makes you lazy.

3. I still refuse to do anything other than well-done. Basically, you need to char my meatThe only pink things I trust are Pepto Bismol and Lil Kim.

4. I’m a grown-ass man, and I still occasionally go grocery shopping in my parent’s fridge. (This will also be used on next week’s list: “10 Reasons Why I’m Broker Than You”)

5. I always recycle my cup at Panera Bread. And, by “recycle” I mean “I walk out with the cup, save it in my car, and use it again the next three or four times I go so I won’t have to buy a new drink.” (This will also be used on next week’s list: “10 Reasons Why I’m Broker Than You”)

6. I still own a pair of Karl Kani jeans. And Iceberg. And Wu-Wear fatigues. I don’t actually wear any of this stuff anymore. But, the high top fade came back, so who knows when I might need to start rocking my Clarks again.

7. I put salt on apples, watermelon, and cantaloupe. (If you think this is bad, I have an uncle who puts salt on bacon)

8. In college, I maxed out a credit card to buy an Avirex. Three weeks later, I traded the Avirex for a gold chain. I am not making any of this up.

9. I’ve been to Youngstown, Ohio. Multiple times. And (obviously) survived each time! (This really could have been the only thing on the list)

10. Last week, the Gay Reindeer jokingly suggested to me that if we had four kids, we should name them Ebony, Essence, Jet, and Black Enterprise.

I don’t think it’s a bad idea.

Ok. I might be willing to concede I’m not the Blackest person reading this, but I need to be convinced. If you’re up to it, explain exactly why you’re Blacker than me. 

(Non-Black people can play, too. Just explain why you’re the Whitest, or the Hispanic-est, or the Asianest person alive. We’re all family here.)

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for and EBONY Magazine. And a founding editor for 1839. And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at Or don't. Whatever.

  • McNairian

    yep, you’re pretty damn Black Champ! Fake a$$ Nestle Snipes!

  • Jay

    I’m blacker than you because on numerous occasions I’ve seen a white friend of mine in traffic, blown my horn, and started trying to get his attention, only to have him be so blinded by “black fear” that he doesn’t even recognize me. What usually follows is apologies for some imaginary traffic infraction that he assumes some road-raging black dude(me) is about to get in his a$$ about and evasive driving maneuvers. I repeat this has happened to me with different people, more times than I can count on one hand. It happened again yesterday. I’m dumbstruck every time.

    • McNairian

      yeah, my white co-workers never “recognize” me outside of work. Crazy.

      • Jay

        Those that know me know that I’m not a violent or over aggressive dude… but I’ve brought out the b*tch in sooooo many of my white co-workers on accident. I used to work with an Asian kid who swore he was hard. He left his phone at work one day. Thinking he lost it, he called it and I answered with the “hood voice” on. He asked about his phone to which I replied “Dis my phone breh”. He paused, smacked his lips, said “Aight” and hung up. My jaw hit the ground. He could have AT LEAST had some choice words for me. I immediately tried to call him back but he wouldn’t answer… let it go to voicemail every time. I told him what was up the next day and he had already went and bought a new phone… THAT NIGHT!!!! I felt HORRIBLE and apologized but I was also like….

        • JayIzUrGod

          That’s greasy as sh-it….which is why we need to hang out.

        • its like the phone is both of yalls, you was just gonna keep it at your house

        • IcePrincess

          Daaaaang jay! Looooool.U going to hell wit gasoline drawls for dat one.

        • McNairian

          I like ramming my cart into theirs at the Wal-Mark or the Krogers and watch them shit their pants preparing for the imminent confrontation! HAHA!

        • Shamira

          so….what happened to the phone? LOL

        • CNotes


      • Val


  • Champ, do yourself a favor and try a medium-cooked steak. You’ll realize that there’s little difference between a well-done steak and charcoal briquette afterwards. Yes, black people will wonder if you’re a vampire. And yes, you’ll probably get a tape worm, but it’s still worth it.

    • Jay

      Medium is the way to go… you’ll never go back.

      • Sahel

        Rare is how i roll

        • Yoles

          i am in the medium sometimes rare (if its a really high end restaurant) camp myself

      • JayIzUrGod

        Indeed. Why don’t Black people understand medium is the only way to get the nutrients from the meat?

      • Oshun

        Good God Almighty, is this JAY, JAY?! Oh mi gosh!! I thought it was another Jay. You really did cut em off. Wow. Damn! You still ridiculously haaansome. Have a great weekend.

      • just had this steak debate with some white colleagues, after doing my sam i am impression, i caved. mightve been the spot because….meh. maybe ill do it myself this weekend

      • Shamira

        medium rare….my boyfriend thinks I’m a vampire for it lol

    • JayIzUrGod

      Treat your steak like you treat a va-gina; you eat it when its pink and avoid it at all costs if its burning.

      • wise words from a decent man

        • RewindingtonMaximus

          More like indecent, I still aint sh-it

      • Now if I had said that….I would have been called a creep….

        • JayIzUrGod

          I lack a soul PA, there’s still hope for you though.

        • Sahel

          Tell me about it,

      • i CANNOT do a well done steak. Its so tough and burnted lol….medium rare, i like my meat still begging for its life, wiggling just a bit lol

        …theres also method to my madness…I can never finish my meal at a restaurant. If i order it well done, when i reheat it at home it’ll be dry. If I order it medium rare, it becomes medium well when i reheat it :-) *takes a bow for my culinary genius*

        • ” i like my meat still begging for its life, wiggling just a bit lol”

          That’s what she said…

          • I should’ve seen that coming lol

            • Once again, that’s what she said…

              • you sneaky bastid…you win lol :-)

                • PA got you twice. Might have to change the handle to hasenpfeffer if he gets you one more time :-) There’s so much dirty word play to be had with this subject. *Prays to trap Jesus that some VSS uses the phrase “fall of the bone” with regard to meat.* :-)

                  • lmaoooooooo maybe i willingly walk into it cuz i’m a perv at heart. Giggity.

              • Sahel


            • Yeah, you should’ve.

              • I’ll learn one day

        • That’s a very good point.

        • JayIzUrGod

          Holy crap…..that is genius! Teach me your ways Oh Exalted One.

          • *kisses your forehead*

            theres a genius inside all of us

            *waits for Perverted Alchemist to catch me again*

            • “theres a genius inside all of us”

              That’s what…damn, I got nothing…

              • Sahel

                I do,but am on my pacifist streak

              • **gasp** no way!

    • chocolynne

      Yes! And you’ll also get a better cut of meat from the chef who’s not going to waste his/her most beautiful steak on someone who wants it turned into a hockey puck.

    • Todd

      Allow me to recommend an adjustment though. If you’re going to try medium cooked meat, spend some bread on it. Go for the prime steaks at a Whole Foods or your local expensive a$$ meat emporium. Get a cast iron pan, heat it up to borderline nuclear, throw a little bit of kosher salt and pepper on it and get it to medium. That stuff is OFFICIAL. Now don’t try that with the reg’lar meat from the supermarket. That’s the stuff that’ll make you sick.

      • Damn right, Todd. There’s no point talking ’bout “I’d like my Salisbury steak medium”. Get a real steak. And you got to enjoy the steak the way Hannibal Lechter would: overhand with the fork, slightly swirl the red wine in your glass as it’s held close to your nose, take a sip, repeat. Of course, the better the steak, the better the wine should be. So if you’re having Salisbury “steak,” you can ha’e dat red barrel (my favorite flavor is purple :0) or, better yet, Welch’s grape (shout out to Biggie). But if you’re getting that Kobe beef(no Lakeshow), order an expensive glass of wine to go with it. If you’ve never done it before, you’re going to butcher the name. The waiter is going to know you don’t belong there and probably can’t tip well. Consequently, your service probably won’t be as good as it should be. You deserve the full experience though so you got to fake it. In your most arrogant voice, ask for the Chateu La (slur any word in a French accent). Also, avoid sticking the tablecloth in your shirt like a bib. If you can do those two things, the waiter will respect you and you should be good.

        I also say go to a place where–forgive me for the following phrase– they’re known for handling meat :-) I like Fogo de Chau, but Im sure someone is waiting to pull a Jimmy from Barbershop, “Fogo de Chau is the Ihop of steaks.” I don’t care though. I’ve even had good steaks from the well-known chains. I say go for a well-known place because the key is getting a quality cut and someone who knows what they’re doing. You really need both, but strength in one area can slightly compensate for a weakness in the other. You want a good cut, but you also want someone cooking it who knows the difference between medium and medium-well. You are less likely to get that waiting in line at the grill at the Golden Corral. Have you seen what they do there? They put the whole heifer up on the grill and take a hacksaw to it. :-)

        • I go to a place called “The Meat Market” to get mine. Not to be confused with the swinger’s club of the same name. I know you know about that. :0) Anyway, you are so right about the difference in quality. I defy any one to get bacon from a butcher and then try to go back to that 2.99 Carolina Pride ish. You can’t do it. :-)

        • HUgrad13

          Fogo de Chau, swoon. Too bad me and my man are living on the “recently graduated, we ain’t got no money, not a job in sight, budget” I miss Fogo. :(

    • WIP

      i always go medium or medium rare. No tapeworms yet

      • 321mena123

        I didn’t know about steaks until i was in college and went to a banquet and they served the steak rare with blood gushing from the meat. I took one bite and was blown at how delicious the steak tasted. I am a medium rare girl with steaks and I like my salmon medium.

  • Madlark

    I pray you’re not wasting money on grade a meat if you’re charing it. Just reach back to the freezer burned meat and save the rest for people who like their meat to have flavor.

  • Jay

    I’m blacker than you because I know the words, melodies, ad-libs, and vocal inflections to EVERY R&B song that got radio airplay between 1981-1995… and I have no idea how.

    • JayIzUrGod

      I’m Black than you because I’ve managed to find every New Jack Swing song there ever was and alphabetically kept them in order.

      *bumps Profyle- Here We Go*

      • Kema

        Ewwww! I hate all new Jack swing

        • kidvideo

          Even this?…how can you hate this?

          Guy–“Grove Me”

          • Todd

            We’ve been trying to forget those songs for the past 15 years. Yikes!

            • McNairian

              Ain’t no forgetting…

          • JayIzUrGod

            Thank you Grand Theft Auto San Andreas for reacquainting me with the crack that is Groove Me

          • Kema

            Its the music. I just don’tlike the sound of that extra hyper time.

        • JayIzUrGod

          Kema, you can’t have my babies if you don’t like New Jack Swing. I swear i’ll find the appropriate song during the birth.

          • *cues “Special Kind Of Fool” by Basic Black*

            • McNairian

              Ya boy said that his woman could “take all his credit cards and go to the maaaahhhlllll”

              • He also said “If it feels that good to you baby, you can go shopping every day”.

                Simpin’ or pimpin’? You be the judge…

                • Yoles


            • miss t-lee


        • I will summon the ghost of Gene Griffin to show up at your house.

        • McNairian

          Wow. Never thought I would hear that. ever. The New Jack Swing Era was awesome…You should have been there!

          • Yoles

            i can’t not dance to some new jack, these ppl are crazy.. thats some good music

            • Asiyah

              well that’s because you’re Latin and we dance to everything LOL

        • WIP

          I used to think you were alright Kema…

        • h.h.h.

          so if i start singing…


          you’d just give me the side eye?


        • Sahel

          Hehe,not a popular comment this

          • Kema

            I feel like O. lol! Eff all ya’ll. I hate that music and I especially hated when it would show up in movies.

            • Sahel

              Careful Kema,you may get banned from VSB and lose your black card

        • blasphemy! Praise the Don, Teddy Riley!

      • *taps Rewind on the shoulder*

        I hate to be “that guy”, but that’s Portrait, not Profyle. This is Profyle:

        • miss t-lee

          Yup…please correct…lol

        • JayIzUrGod

          I knew I did something wrong! Are you sure you’re not a superhero dedicated to writing the wrongs of people who don’t proficiently categorize music?

          • LMAO! Nah dude. I was just pointing it out. There were A LOT of male R&B groups out at the time and half of them sounded like someone else. So I don’t really blame you for getting them mixed up. I still think Jagged Edge owes Jodeci some royalties, LOL!

  • Val

    I had to take a break at ‘salt on bacon’! Lol! That’s funny. And, I’ve heard of salt on watermelon and cantaloupe but, apples?

    Mmmm, let me see, okay, I’m Blacker than you because I was given cod liver oil as a child. Also, I’ve had mayonnaise sandwiches, I know who Sugar Ray Richardson is, I always have cab money hidden in my handbag, I always wear clean undies, I know that Jeffrey Daniel invented the moonwalk but he called it the backslide, I’ve seen at least 15 minutes of a Dolamite movie, I always remember Malcolm’s birthday and last but not least I visited relatives ‘downsouth’ in the summer as a kid.

    • Jay

      I have memories of watching “Petey Wheatstraw: The Devil’s Son-in-Law” at my grandma’s house when I was about 8. I had never been so shocked, disgusted, entertained and amused by anything in my life.

      • JayIzUrGod

        Those are all of the emotions I had when my cousin made me watch it. But he got me high, so that was a whole new level of intensity.

      • Val

        I can agree with shocked and disgusted. Lol Entertained, not so much.

    • JayIzUrGod

      If you’ve seen 15 minutes of Dolomite, you should have perfected a roundhouse kick that doesn’t actually hit anyone but still makes them fly back 5 feet.

      • Val

        No roundhouse kick but I can do a little jive talkin’.

        • JayIzUrGod

          Then you should already own a white mink coat and a sparkly gold tooth when you walk down the street with 4 of your lovely lady companions.

    • Todd

      *Sighs at the downsouth relative hustle* I missed out on that. Then again, this is what happens when only half of you is African-American, and that part consists largely of the descendents of negroes who ran from their plantations to Atlanta as soon as word got out that Lee surrenders at Appomattox Courthouse.

      • Shots fired?

      • Yoles

        isn’t georgia down south no?

        • Todd

          Georgia is down South, but some hardcore Southerns type don’t really consider Atlanta “Southern”. It’s the equivalent of telling a native New Yorker you’ve been “all over” New York City when you just stayed in Midtown. I remember the one time I visited my great-grandmother in Georgia. Between the abject fear in my dad’s eyes and the country-ness of the relations in their wood shack by the highway, I was confused.

          • 321mena123

            Atlanta is not southern though it’s in the south. I am one of those hardcore southerners.

            • Todd

              Forgive Yoles. She’s the plus-sized Soledad O’Brien, so certain concepts may fly over her head. LOL

              • Yoles

                lo siento breadren

    • ” I know that Jeffrey Daniel invented the moonwalk but he called it the backslide”

      I’m surprised you even know who Jeffrey Daniel is (Most people don’t, LOL!)

      • Val

        I know about Jeffrey because I’m a Jody Whatley fan, PA.

    • Asiyah

      I, too, remember brother Malcolm’s birthday. Love me some El Hajj Malik El Shabazz!

      and clean undies are a must!

  • SoSncere

    Well I can already say that if its a contest to see who’s the blackest I already know I’ve lost as I’m sitting here right now eating coconut yogurt w/organic blueberries mixed in watching Charlotte’s Web…..maybe that’s black?……probably not?Anyways, here’s my list:
    1. I have a family reunion t-shirt for every year I’ve been on the earth… that same ugly blue color….that shade of blue does nothing for nobody but lo & behold it continues to show up year after year making everybody look extra ashy.

    2. at this family reunion, on the itinerary that is either emailed or passed out there are generally no less than 9 words misspelled….I just don’t get it….

    3. my mom would store her grease after each cooking endeavor in a little cup by the stove & would get heated with anyone that tried to use “new oil”

    4. Our dogs always stayed outside growing up.

    5. I still grease my scalp only I use coconut oil now & not DAX

    6. my grandmother was indeed called Madea and when she died one of my aunts who was in charge of writing up the program, spelled her name Mutt-deeah :-(

    7. I have a radio right now that is missing an antenna and so we put a wire hanger in it and its since been pulling not only local stations but a couple from another state as well…clear too!

    8. I only eat the food of folks I know keep a clean kitchen….. I don’t do random office potlucks, grocery store samples etc. If I don’t know who cooked it, I’m not eating it (unless I’m at a restaurant)

    • Sahel

      With you on the dogs bit. My parents taught me that dogs live outside and dont wear cloths

      • SoSncere

        I know right! mine too

      • Kema

        Not even for Halloween? :-/

        • Sahel

          Hell no

    • Val

      Yep on #8.

    • Todd

      With #3, the sign that my wife has stopped cooking was when the old grease container disappeared. She kept it old school, while I went modern.

      We haven’t had a grease container in years. Then again, I haven’t cooked with anything besides olive oil and maybe coconut oil since at least the holidays, so there’s less grease around period.

    • Cracking up about the family reunion t-shirts! I wear mine to bed….and that’s about it.

      And I have an aunt who can cook better than anyone I know, yet she always manages to misspell oyster. Bless her heart!

    • “4. Our dogs always stayed outside growing up.”

      Dogs look so adorable inside the house- that is until they start using the potted plants as their personal toilet…

      • SoSncere


        • I’ll never forget that day in 1992 when my mother put Lady out. She saw that dog drop a deuce in her roses and that was the end of her staying in the house, LMAO!

          • SoSncere

            Lol!! Poor Lady……I bet had she known she was going to be evicted, she’d have held it….lol

    • The Champ

      1. I have a family reunion t-shirt for every year I’ve been on the earth.

      this is pretty damn black

    • larenee10

      Why does that blue even exist? The old people got mad at me the year we hosted the reunion and had hunter green.

  • RewindingtonMaximus

    I’m not that Black. The amount of times I’ve been called “the whitest Black guy I know” by people who aren’t Black pretty much signifes that. But I got some traits still.

    1) Banged a few fat white girls.
    2) Low credit score before the age of 2
    3) Ride around in the whip with the music blasting on superbad, most likely bumping some Souf sh-it even though i’m in New York (that Luda – IDGAF mixtape is beastly)
    4)Walk outside on my porch in wifebeater and boxers…don’t really give a f-uck who sees
    5) Being a wizard at hood cusine

  • NomadaNare

    1. I’ve seen and liked every Spike Lee joint but Miracle at St. Anna and Red Hook Summer. She Hate Me got me into a girl’s pants. Twice.

    2. I’ve read more black lit than you.

    3. I know what Sankofa is and have seen it.

    4. I observe Kwanza during the holiday season with friend’s families.

    5. I know why the caged bird sings.

    • Obsidian Files

      You’ll love Miracle at St. Anna; I consider it one of Lee’s better films in the second half of his career.


    • This whole list! lol. More black lit, huh? You a casual reader or you sat in somebody’s University program for it?

      • NomadaNare

        Casual. In honor of Juneteeth, I recently finished Ellison’s second book of the same name. You should check it out, it’s deep!

    • NomadaNare

      6. I read Flyy Girl in middle school.

      7. Everybody in my family says they “got some Indian in them” and it’s probably true, but no one’s sure.

      8. Despite recently teasing PJ, I ‘did’ spoken word in college and continue to read select poet laureates

      9. I absolutely love black women.

      10. I went to an HBCU. *Drops Mic*

  • nillalatte

    I would love to play, but darn Champ, if this is your list, I’m half black already! I write crazy things just to cut up and wait for reactions. This could be anything from this forum’s obsession with dating and mating to picking four leaf clovers. Lazy? I swear if there weren’t bills to be paid, I’d lay up in the bed most of the day and chill at the beer barn (you probably have no idea what that is or what they do there) most of the evening well into the night. All my meat is cooked. I don’t eat much beef and I prefer chicken. Fried I love (Popeye’s spicy is a favorite!), but roasted is healthier so I slow roast mine now.

    Ha! I keep my McDonald’s or JITB cups and make my kids go in the dining room to get free refills on $1 drinks no less. (laughing at my cheap self). What’s wrong with salt on watermelon, apples and cantaloupes? Anywho… there’s been some very ‘seedy’ places on my ‘where a white woman shouldn’t go and if she does everyone thinks she’s crazy’ list. But, h3lls YOLO! :D And, to top this off, my college was a HBCU! Wait, I think that alone just might make me more black than you!!! :P

    My Asian friend though reminds me often that I am, indeed, white. I asked him what was the name of the sushi we purchased once and he said “Honey, that’s not really sushi. That is something they make so white people will eat it.” To which I replied, “Racist!” To which he replied, “WHITE GIRL!” Another time, I was at a Mexican restaurant and he asked if they served chili relleno? To which I asked, “Chili Reno?” He laughed and said, “You are so white.”

    • JayIzUrGod

      Nilla, you got a rap sheet comparable to half of Riker’s Island, you win by default.

      • nillalatte

        Will you please stop going to and running background checks on me?! LOL

        • JayIzUrGod

          Buahahahaha you are ridiculous

    • Kema

      Sushi is my favorite with Thai following close behind. Am I Asian?

      • bougie sistas love sushi….like when did this start

        • Kema

          I’m definitely not bougie. I’m too bout it bout it.

        • 321mena123

          Sushi is delicious. I can drop a bit of money at a really good sushi restaurant.

      • Todd

        Well, is it the Thai they make for Americans or the REAL Thai? That real Thai will have you going “Are you Bout It Bout It” to all “spicy” food for the rest of your life. The thing is that it isn’t one-note spicy either. It tastes like something besides hot.

        • Kema

          I orderone thingand one thing only. Pad see eww.I do mild lol.

        • Epsilonicus

          I will not eat at any Asian restaurant that does not have Asian people eating in it.

          • WIP

            I always see Asian people eating in the buffet restaurants- but they ain’t eating nothing I see on the buffet. They have little bowls of noodles and sh*t, serving us fried, glazed rat.

            • Todd

              Get you a Chinese friend for the hookup. They have a secret Chinese menu they serve their own. And you aren’t eating fried rat as much as you’re eating the Americanized versions of Chinese recipes.

            • The Champ

              “They have little bowls of noodles and sh*t, serving us fried, glazed rat.”


    • Todd

      Ah, my fears about Sushi confirmed. I like the Asian cuisines that they serve their own people, but I also understand why you have to get into the Fox Viewing Position to get it. Most of it is off the wall to American tastes.

    • 321mena123

      I really wanted you and Ice to play. Especially Ice.

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