About Liz

California Girl turned New Yorker. MIT + USC Media/Comm nerd. Black & Navajo. I'm a laugher not a fighter. Follow me @calinative.

New Web Series: “Ask A Black Man” Featuring Panama Jackson

Hey strangers!

Liz here. We’re skipping our regular entry today because your very own Panama Jackson was featured in a web series talk show that debuts today on MadameNoire.com. The show is called Ask A Black Man, and it’s all about love, dating, sex and relationships from the male perspective. I happen to be the Executive Producer on the series, so you know if 2/3 of VSB is involved it’s gotta be halfway decent! Ha.

This episode is called “The Life of A SIngle Man” and Panama will also be featured in The Sex Episode premiering on April 11. Make sure you tune into Ask A Black Man every Wednesday for new episodes.

Anyway, press play below or head on over to Episode 1 and watch over there.


Tell us what you think about Panama’s Participation! Did he represent well for the 3s?

VSB: Now Slightly Less Janky

Thanks for always being logged on to VSB.

*taps mic*

Hey guys. Liz here.

Just wanted to give you the heads up that there is no new post today because the site has been on the fritz the past week, as I am sure many of you have noticed.

I wanted to take a minute to apologize for the downtime and the jankyness factor going on here at VSB lately. It’s been a rough week, rougher than usual, but I believe we have fixed most of the problems for now, and we have upgraded our server so the site runs faster.

Yes, that means less 404s, 503s and OPPs.

Sorry if you had problems accessing the site this week. Also, really really sorry for some of you throwback Internet Explorer users who were getting forwarded to a pr0n site when coming to VSB. (Some of you may have actually enjoyed that, I’m not really sure.)

I also wanted to take the time to remind you that you can always subscribe to our RSS feed via your RSS feed reader, or email. That way, you can read our published content in your RSS feed reader or in your email inbox even if the site is down or slow. Click here to subscribe via email or RSS.

If you ever have any technical problems with VSB please email us at contact@verysmartbrothas.com and we can help troubleshoot. And by “us” and “we” I mean “me.” Panama and the Champ can’t help you on tech problems. SMH.

Have a good weekend! Make sure you read P’s very important post from yesterday, since the site was down most of the day.

Thanks for your patience and support!

Happy Birthday, Mr. P: The 32 Most Ungangsta Facts About Panama Jackson

He thinks he's gangsta, but he's sooooo not.

People of VSB.

This is not your Champ or your Panama speaking. This is Liz, the third but non-testicled member of  #TeamVSB coming to you today for a very special occasion.

Today is a national holiday here at VSB. This is the day the Lord has made in which we celebrate the birth of the one and only Most Valuable 3, Panama Jackson (no relation to O’Shea).


Today we give a digital toast to Peej as he turns 32.

*raises computer mouse in the air*

As one of Ps gooder friends for the past 6 or 7 years (damb, we gettin old), I feel like spilling a little tea today. Some P Tea, if you will. I’ve heard the rumblings in these e-streets: Is Panama really as gangsta as he lets on online? What’s P like when he lets his hair down? Does he put his left sock on first, or his right? I have the answers to these questions and more. In honor of Year #32, I bring you The 32 Most Ungangsta Facts About Panama Jackson: Continue reading

VSB History 101: Happy Birthday To Us!

Pretend Lauryn wasn't the star of the group. And that Wyclef is lightskinnt. And a 3. Oh, wait...

People of VSB,

It’s time for a little VSB history lesson, so gather round your computer monitors for a story. Today The Champ has allowed me (Liz) to write a post on VSB (sorry it’s late, a girl was out celebrating). Now that I have the carpet, I thought I’d let you in on some little known VSB history.

Three years and one day ago today, The Champ (Damon Young), Panama Jackson, and myself launched VerySmartBrothas.com. I remember the day Panama IMed me about a hairbrained idea in the winter of 2008. I’ve known P since 2004 and over the years we’ve come up with a million website ideas, but since we’re both geminis, they never get executed because we are off chasing a new idea.

As we were discussing the logistics of Hairbrained Idea #1, Panama’s e-lightbulb went off. The IM convo went exactly like this (yes, I have every IM convo I’ve ever had since 2004 archived on my computer):

2/12/2008 9:37 am PST

Panama: we just need a name [for Hairbrained Idea #1]
Panama: a good name
Liz: yup
Panama: ya know…this is probably what me and Dame should have done
Panama: with our book stuff
Panama: something to keep folks attention while we finish the writing and editing
Liz: yeah u guys totally should have done something like this

Panama took this diversion of an idea back to Damon and the next day, the following conversation happened:

2/13/2008 8:24 am PST

Panama: i talked with Dame last night
Panama: about the spinoff [of Hairbrained idea #1]
Panama: and what we should have done
Panama: and he seems on board with it
Panama: interesting
Panama: he came up with a site name on the spot
Panama: www.verysmartbrothas.com
Panama: lol
Panama: and its available
Panama: you’d think that would be taken
Panama: but for me and Dame’s brand of entertainment
Panama: Very Smart Brothas is perfect
Liz: yup!
Panama: its assholish and true at the same time
Liz: lol right. just like you guys.
Panama: we’d blog like twice a week or something
Panama: pick topics and write about them
Liz: sounds good
Liz: u buy the url yet?
Panama: im buying it right now

Weeks later, VSB was born.

This site started out as a way for Panama and Damon to come out of blogging retirement (they’d both stopped blogging by 2006, growing bored with the genre) and pass the time while they put the finishing touches on The Book. (A book that you guys can now buy on Amazon.) I came on board because I was in grad school learning about online communities and I wanted a petri dish to play with. Also, neither one of the guys had very much technical acumen:

  • Fact #1: Damon started blogging in 2002, but only because his super awesome blogger/developer/designer extraordinaire cousin huny set him up with a blog.
  • Fact #2: Panama’s first website was built by yours truly back in 2004 because he also didn’t know anything about websites.
  • These Two Facts Prove: Behind every Very Smart Brotha is a Very Smart Sista.

I’m always amazed when I meet readers in real life, who are excited about the site and excited to meet The Champ and Panama. To me they’re like my knuckle-headed older brothers, but somehow they have charmed the e-pants off of all of you.

All that being said, I just wanted to stop and say thank you. Really. Thank you for being here. Thank you for showing up everyday, or for every day that you can make it. Thanks for spreading the word. For supporting us. For putting up with Panama, Damon and myself. Thanks for putting up with my really strict commenting filters. (I’m sorry for the moderation, it’s my fault and I rule with an iron fist.) Thanks for putting up with my sometimes sassy demeanor in the comments section (when I decide to show up). You guys are the best experiment/petri dish a girl could ever ask for!

To Damon and P, thank you for putting up with me. I know I often make it seem like you guys are the handful, but I know I give both of you guys a run for your money behind the scenes. You don’t know how excited I am to see you both in the same room at the same time for the first time this weekend. My heart might explode!

In closing, this wouldn’t be a VSB post if we didn’t end it with some questions for you to answer. I’m curious. How did you first hear about us? What was the first memorable post you read? Which VSB regular is your favorite? Any questions you have for us about the history of VSB?

Inquiring minds wanna know. The carpet is yours and sh*t.

P.S. I will see all of you in DC tomorrow night at our #ThreeDeez VSB Anniversary Party! Be there or be square.

Where’s VSB Today?

We know some of you were lurking around midnight last night looking for us. Sorry to disappoint but sometimes life happens and we have to stop everything to take note.

Yeah, that was cryptic. It’s none of ya’lls business what happened, just know there’s no regular post today!

In the interim, if you need a VSB fix, take a look at two new and riveting interviews of us by some very interesting folks:

  1. Love it when Panama quotes a rap line or two? So do the folks over at Euphoric Ears. They  interviewed Panama about his favorite music lyrics. This is definitely one of our more unique interviews, so go check it out.
  2. If you didn’t know about the Alicia Keys Head Blogger competition for IAmASuperwoman.com then you are probably living under a rock. The contest is down to the final three picks and our favorite in the group, Ruby Veridiano, asked us all the tough dating questions you Superwomen have for a brotha. Go read part one, say hello to Ruby, and let us know what you think.

We’ll be back tomorrow! Smooches!