Events/Campaigns, Featured, Race & Politics

Damon Young’s Talk At The University Of Houston

As I wrote yesterday, the University of Houston’s Valenti School of Communication invited me to campus to speak about race and writing and shit. Video footage of the talk is below.

A couple highlights:

***I was wearing a mic, but apparently it wasn’t working. I didn’t realize it wasn’t working, though, so I kept talking. Moments later, a mic mysteriously appears on the table next to me. I pause and ask if I need the mic. And the entire audience screams “Yes!”

***Deyontrius Sims’s — the woman interviewing me —  shoes. Those were very nice shoes.

***The bottle of water. I was working on two hours of sleep that night — remember, I was bachelor partying all weekend — and that water was the best water I’ve ever tasted.

***At the 16:00 mark I talk about honesty. Specifically, how difficult it is to be honest through writing, how writing has a way of unveiling truths about yourself you weren’t aware existed, how 100% honesty is less a reality and more an aspiration, and how the best work is honest work.

Anyway, check it out. Or don’t. It’s your decision and shit.

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com 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 damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • TeeChantel

    damon I agree, I keep eyeing your water in the corner of the screen; it looks good as hayle!
    **goes back to watch rest of video**

  • Val

    That’s a big azz watch, Damon.

    *goes back to watching*

    • Damon Young

      i’m a fan of diesel watches. at the very least, they help me build my forearms on trips when i don’t have time to work out

  • Detroit Skater

    that is a nice shoe! especially strappy heels (secy), but limited in what I wear now since breaking my ankle years ago. I miss heels. :’-(

    • Val

      Did you break your ankle skating?

      • Detroit Skater

        LOLOL… yup! simple falls in skating are not always simple falls.

    • Dee Sims

      Thank you! ? (We have two things in common; I skate as well!)

      • Detroit Skater

        heeeey skater!!! *waves*

    • I used to skate at Northland.. Wednesdays and Saturdays.

      • Detroit Skater

        That’s my spot every sunday!?

        • For 25 and over? They still do that?

          • Detroit Skater

            Nortland’s 25&up is Friday night, but they need a better dj before i go back to that. Did you ever skate on the east side at skateland? They have the sunday night 25up. It’s to late for me so i go to northland when the better dj plays to get my floor time in.?

            • Naw I don’t do Skateland.. my cousin Keisha was shot in the head there and died at 13 … This was in 81… NEVER EVER going to Skateland… I heard some Arabs bought out Northland awhile ago though… I went to college with Ingrid (the original owner’s daughter)..

              • Detroit Skater

                oh no! sorry to hear about your cousin. I was only allowed to skate at northland so I didn’t visit skateland until I was a full grown don’t have to ask mama adult. as raggedy as it is I do like skateland’s floor, but I only go once maybe twice a year.
                yup! arabs own northland now. is ingrid a davis? I skate with a guy who as talked about (in a good way) a daughter, but I can’t recall her name. one of the davis brothers (original owners) was the principle of my middle school and he would let me skate for free :-) that is until I just stopped skating. I started back 12 years ago and gone roll until I can’t roll no mo’. LOL

                • I believe Ingrid IS a Davis… dad’s name is Herman..I think. Man, I haven’t been skating in years.. we took the kids and they were ecstatic that we could still shoot the duck…lol

                  • Detroit Skater

                    yup, herman… he was the “mean” brother…LOLOL
                    LOLOLOL…. shoot the duck = good fun!

  • veryaveragebrotha

    VSB is being acquired? We need more information…

    • L8Comer

      Do you know the time where he discusses that?

      • Detroit Skater

        24:10…. yes I know this b/c i had to hit rewind…

        • L8Comer

          Yep I just saw that. Thanks for receipts. Interesting

    • panamajackson

      WHAT?!?!?

      • L8Comer

        Lolol okay. Yeah I was thinking, I didn’t hear that ? Didn’t watch entire video tho

        • Epsilonicus

          Yep. He sure did say it was being acquired.

          • A.G.

            I wonder if people will say “I miss the old VSB” if things change drastically

            • Kas

              I miss it already.

              • A.G.

                I’m scared of a Grantland/ESPN type situation

                • Kas

                  Positive thoughts: maybe we will get a version of Disqus that doesn’t sensor words like a school marm.

            • Epsilonicus

              We already say that

      • Val

        This is how really wrong rumors get started.

        • Aly

          But Damon did say it though. Omg, I hope it’s not true.

          • panamajackson

            Just know, nothing we’d do at VSB would be done unless we felt it was in the best interest of VSB and the community we’ve been fortunate enough to build.

            • NonyaB

              That’s a solid “yes”. Congrats! Well, we all know parties aren’t meant to last and I’d been wondering when the VSB sail mast might change colours…

            • Inquiring minds wanna know.

              We don’t want no dubyas in the back talmbout..”they don’t be sounding black enuff, My G.”

          • Val

            Wow, I missed that part.

            • NonyaB

              Just peeped the timeline DetroitSkater posted and Damon specifically states that VSB’s going thru an acquisition right now.

        • panamajackson

          No rumors. Just nothing yet to share until its time to share.

          • miss t-lee

            Oh wow.

      • miss t-lee

        this response…lol

      • veryaveragebrotha

        LOL is Damon pulling a Damon Dash on you?

        • L8Comer

          Yeah I just saw that. Panama u didn’t know?

          • panamajackson

            You really think that THIS is how I’d find out? lol

            • L8Comer

              Not really, lol. So then, spill the details. Or when can we expect to find out more? Will there be a press release?

              • panamajackson

                When there’s something to share, it might be shared. Until then you’ll just have to live with Damon and his propensity for oversharing.

                • L8Comer

                  Hmmm, yeah that’s what I thought might be going on lol. Oversharing too early happens.

                  Well… I’ll keep an eye out for that official announcement when the acquisition is done. Was framed as a good thing, so Congratulations!!

            • Janelle Doe

              lol. you had ne. I was waiting fornyou to go all Kelly Rippa on us. Seriously though do we get a post about that specific piece of news for us to provide comments to? Or will we wake up to whole new management as a surprise?

    • Negro Libre

      Trump is going to win.

      Might as well cash out and move to Ghana:

      http://i.imgur.com/Uw47Llh.gif

    • DreamDeferred

      Whichever company that owns Ebony would be my guess.

  • cyanic

    When I read you I have an imaginary version of your voice in my head. This video contradicts it entirely. Your writing doesn’t match that heavy authoritative tone.

    • L8Comer

      Bahaha I like his voice

    • Damon Young

      i’m writer not a rapper and sh*t

      • cyanic

        My first visit and post here was a response to your article of wanting to kick people in the shins for defending Bill Cosby. And I promptly had no issue then defending Bill Cosby. So aggressive you you you.

      • Young MC Deux.

    • Buster Cannon

      His voice was pretty close to what I imagined, though I did expect him to sound a little snarkier lol

    • His voice TOTALLY threw me.

  • panamajackson

    Damon has a writer beard and writer hair.

    • Val

      And writer glasses.

      • L8Comer

        And a writer voice

      • LadyJay?

        Wait….how they look like?the round metal ones?

    • Damon Young

      to complete the full writerly transformation, I’m going to start rocking blazers. like, everywhere.

      • panamajackson

        you are basically trying to be kanye in 2004.

        • Aren’t we all?

          • panamajackson

            even Kanye doesnt want to be kanye in 2004. he’s probably the only one who doesnt actually miss the old Kanye.

            • lol I’m upset at how this thoughtful, poignant-azz comment genuinely made me sad just now. I need a moment… Man down.

              • panamajackson

                deep, right?

            • A.G.

              Not sure why, but I just got sad reading this.

          • Sroberts119

            I live a constant life of wanting to be what Kanye wanted to be in 2004…before he through all fucks out and became the protagonist of allll of his 2004 songs.

      • miss t-lee

        Just make sure they have elbow patches…so you’re really official.

        • Damon Young

          an ascot too, maybe.

          • B-Dot Willz

            you’ll end up looking like either Freddy from Scooby Doo or Roland martin.

            • miss t-lee

              Jinx!

          • miss t-lee

            Too far, Champie.
            TOO FAR.

            You don’t wanna look like this kat.

            http://www.rolandsmartin.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/rolandmartinalivelshithefirstascot.jpg

            • B-Dot Willz

              I have never been able to get Jiggy with Roland Martin. Him and Al Sharpton are on my list of NOPE. I can’t pinpoint but I just don’t trust ’em

              • miss t-lee

                I can’t quite figure out why Roland tapdances on my nerve.

              • Negro Libre

                Reverend Car Salesman

                I was watching Chubby Al Sharpton in the Malcolm X movie the other day, and I can’t lie, he legit sounds like all the youtube radicals of today.

                • B-Dot Willz

                  Yeah Al is always out here talking about “black folks need to…” and I’m just looking like dial it back homie who put you in charge.

            • catgee12

              Why you savage Roland tho? Lol

              • miss t-lee

                Can you think of anyone else wearing an ascot on the regular off top?
                Me neither.

                • RaeRae

                  Pimp C had real opinions about dudes in ascots. The things he used to say…

                  • miss t-lee

                    Yupppp. ???

                  • Joycetloya1

                    Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !ro208f:
                    On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
                    !ro208f:
                    ??
                    ??;?? http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash448MediaZoomGetPay$97Hour ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????::::::!ro208f:….,……..

                  • Ashleyrhall3

                    Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !ri59f:
                    On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
                    !ri59f:
                    ??
                    ??;?? http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash299HomePinGetPay$97Hour ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????::::::!ri59f:….,…..

      • Loft.
        You can’t write unless you live in a loft. And your coffee is dropped off by a bolivian dude in the middle of the night.

        • Damon Young

          we actually lived in a loft until recently. and i’m getting loft fever again.

        • miss t-lee

          Are we sure that’s coffee, or “coffee”?

          • You know the kind…
            that “falls off a truck.”

            • miss t-lee

              Hahahah.

      • Val

        Make sure your blazers are tweed and have patches on the elbows.

        • miss t-lee

          Gotta be.

        • PDL – Cape Girl Shero

          With the elbow patches

        • Brooklyn_Bruin

          Plus leather elbow patches

        • fedup

          Don’t forget the loafers and boat shoes!

      • Man, it’s a 583 degrees outside.. don’t be pretentious… lmao

    • -h.h.h.-

      wait, did he wear his VSB shirt?

      i’m just happy he has more than 2 VSB shirts in his closet #HesBallingNow #TimeToHitHimUpForAMicroLoan

      • Miriamanordstrom1

        Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !re57f:
        On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
        !re57f:
        ??
        ??;?? http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash347NetworkFoxGetPay$97Hour ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????::::::!re57f:….,……

      • Nik White

        The shoes told me that he is quietly balling.

    • YeaSoh

      I dunno, he just looks homeless to me *shrug*

      I kid. Kinda.

      • LadyJay?

        Give him shelter!

      • you should see philosophers

  • Chaud_et_Froid

    I enjoyed watching this; great job, Damon!

    • Damon Young

      thanks and sh*t!

  • Buster Cannon

    Am I the only the one that cracked up at the segment with the girl reading Damon’s writing back to him?

  • Detroit Skater

    this was really good, thank you for sharing….

  • Brass Tacks

    The passage on being honest or “nekkid”, in your writings goes hand in hand with what P was saying the other day about writing drunk and editing sober. My problem is, I feel as though my thoughts can be somewhat scattered, if they are not in the form of a flame 16. And since Damon/Panama seem to not want nice things for da people (I spit hot fiyah). I’ve relegated myself to cheering from the bleachers.

    • Kas

      They don’t want the comment section to be great.

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