The Joy They (And By They, I Mean White People) Can’t Steal » VSB

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The Joy They (And By They, I Mean White People) Can’t Steal



On November 4, 2008, we witnessed a collective moment of hope and inspiration in the Black community with the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States.  As a moment of pride and patriotism, I don’t think there has ever been a time in the African American experience where we’ve felt as though we’d transcended our outsider status and “otherness” and reached a point of inclusion like on that day.

Our president was Black. Our Lambos were blue. And over the next eight years we learned to make-do.

Then came November 2016 and the coming of the Trump Era, a time that’s been seemingly defined by a desire to undo all that Barack Obama did no matter how big or small.

But I have another hypothesis. I feel that there’s something else in the air. Something more sinister in the actions of some who support the new administration. For them, it’s not enough to seemingly erase the legacy of the first Black President. No, not at all. For them there’s a cruel desire to punish African Americans for ever having had a Barack or a Michelle or a Black First Family at all. It’s as if they want to rob us of that joy.

But here’s what they don’t know, try as they might and try as they will to try take us back or to a place of despair, we’re gonna hold on to our joy because it’s what held us together before Barack, and it’s what’s gonna keep us going through time immemorial.

That said, here’s a few of the moments of joy they can’t take from us…

Seeing Hennessy on sale

Look, I don’t drink Hennessy, but I know a lot of Black folks that do. Black folks love Hennessy.  We sing about it.  We rap about it.  We get it tattooed on our bodies.  Some of us have even named children and pitbulls after it. It’s a staple for any Black social gathering. So, when I walk into the liquor store on a Friday night to pick up a bottle of Malbec and I see that Henny’s stocked up for $25.00, I know that someone Black is fitna have a good ass time that weekend.

It makes me happy to know so many Black people are gonna be happy, even if I’m not gonna be there with them. Henny on the table is a symbol of Black joy.

HBCU Marching Bands playing “Talkin’ Out The Side of Your Neck”

There’s literally a comparison study on YouTube for this phenomena if you have 20 minutes to kill…

When I die (hopefully a long ass time from now of a non-law enforcement related cause), I want a marching band in the street ready to strike up this tune as soon as they wheel my carcass out of the church. I’m talking full band with Mahogany In Motion (Spelhouse) or Ebony Fire (Hampton) and e’rythang.

Running a Boston

Because Teddy an’nem was talkin’ mad shit before the spades game started. Now you twelve books deep with the Big Joker in your hand and they ain’t said a mumbling word.

Go ahead, stick the card on your forehead and do a little dance.

Finding out the new Black person at work is down

So they just hired Marcus in Accounting and you’ve been seeing this cat in the breakroom and in a couple of meetings. But you haven’t had a chance to rap with him yet to see what he’s on or if, God forbid, he’s like corny ass Phil over in IT who looked at you crazy when you asked him if he heard that new Rick Ross.

Then, one day, you walk past his cube and you hear something faint. Something subtle. Something you think you’ve heard before, but you’re not quite sure if it is what you think it is. But then it hits you…

“Percocet. Molly. Percocet.”

Now you know and now Marcus gets the nod in the hall.

The opening keys to “Before I Let Go”

Out of the list of agreed upon African American traditions, the playing of Maze ft. Frankie Beverly’s “Before I Let Go” to officially mark the lit period of a social gathering is sacred. Truly, nothing says, “here’s the bride and groom,” or “happy birthday, Momma,” or “the ribs are ready” like hearing Frankie’s smooth crooning of ‘Whoa-oooo-wah-hooooo” and that driving bassline.

Ignoring Instructions at Graduations

Fuck propriety. It’s Lil Laquinnicus’s big day to walk across that stage and get his diploma and we’ll be damned and a half if some mid-level administrator from the alternative high school is gonna stop us from cheering him individually.

No, we’re not gonna wait until all the graduates’ names are announced before we go ham.  Yes, we know it’s disruptive to the event and mildly disrespectful to the other families but who gives a damn?  For some of us, a high school diploma is a terminal degree and, even now, the furthest anyone in the family might have made it.  You goddamn right it’s time for some air horns and a stanky leg.

Watching Black people win on Chopped

Or The Price Is Right, or American Ninja Warrior, or the Scripps National Spelling Bee. If Black people are competing that’s who we want to win.

A few weeks ago, I literally yelled, “C’mon, muthafucka!” at my TV in front of my children over an episode of Chopped Junior because the young Black kid overcooked the steak.

Seeing old Black people in Obama ‘nalia

Like I said before, there are those out there that want to make it seem as if the Obama Era never happened. And to those people I present old Black folks in Obama t-shirts, hats, hoodies, and jackets as a counterpoint.

Try as they might, my momma and her friends aren’t ever gonna let go of their Black president. He’s officially on the wall next to the giant knife and fork hung ever so gracefully next to Jesus and beside the giant wicker chair. Let the old Black folk tell it we’re all somehow related to Michelle an’nem and Sasha and Malia got about a millionty-six cousins out here in this world.

But to see the people and to know that there was a time, they can’t ever take that away.

Corey Richardson

Corey Richardson is originally from Newport News, Virginia currently living in Chicago, Illinois with his wife and two daughters. Ad guy at work, Dad guy in life, and whiskey enthusiast, Corey spends his time crafting words, telling bedtime stories, and working hard at becoming the legend he is in his own mind. You can read his paternal musings at where he chronicles his life doing battle with all of the women with his last name.

  • PinkRose

    We shall ALWAYS have the right to celebrate this women right here, with a TON of weak white male tears flowing, starting with McEnroe:

    • ladyfresh

      I remember like 5 years ago was talking ideal body types w co-workers ( yes white yes women I know I know it’s advertising) and I was like Serena. Said like capi-cu slam the domino on the table.
      The looks on their faces made it all worth it.
      Don’t tell no black women to aim for some weak skinny body when an athletic perfectly proportioned WINNING body is out there.

    • I just remember being blessed to see that up close. Mmm, mmm, MMM. What a gorgeous and talented woman.

      • Jennifer

        I wanna hear that story.

        • Back in 2012, I worked as VIP Event Staff for the US Open. We were the people in suits telling the famous people what they could and couldn’t access, playing traffic cop and generally helping them out with info about security policies and such. One of the perks was getting to meet all of the players because I was one of the people rotated through to let players in and out of their locker room. Seeing her up close is fun. Seeing her whole entourage up close was fun. :)

          • Blueberry01

            I saw her up close as well. I went to Great Adventure and right when I got to the front of the line of a roller coaster, they held it up so she and her friend could ride alone. Maybe about 2010 or 2011…

      • Brother Mouzone


        • Kat

          What you trying to say

          • Brother Mouzone

            That she is a talented tennis player.

            • Kat

              Yea…she is that and gorgeous and intelligent and driven and of course talented.

              Let’s not.

              • Freebird

                He can’t find her not attractive? People talk about attraction all the time here.

                • Kat

                  He can but to question another’s idea that she is not the business. His questioning comment was needed in the same vein as you questioning me on his questioning. Get it?

                  • Freebird

                    People question other people’s idea of attractiveness here, all the time. But I get you sis!

                    • Kat

                      And I get what you saying. I just thought it was nasty. And unneeded.

                    • Brother Mouzone

                      What was so nasty?

                    • Freebird

                      Unneeded I agree. Cause I’m sooooo jealous!

                    • Especially when black men, constantly, come for her looks.

                    • Kat

                      Exactly. Exactly. Exactly.

                    • Jess Bassey

                      Agreed. Miss me with the passive aggressive “questions”

                    • Girl!!

                    • Brother Mouzone

                      When one says Idris is the biznazz, and another says he looks rusty, it’s all good bruh, right? Personal preference. Nobody gets upset behind the opinion of his attraction or any other dude in these here e-streets. I guess it only applies to us.

                    • Freebird

                      Yeah that’s kind of how I felt. I fasho don’t agree with you! And I think it’s ok if you say so.

                      Who would you choose over Serena?

                    • Brother Mouzone

                      My wife.

                    • Brother Mouzone

                      Lol..I used to catch grief from my friends when I would say Halle was way overrated. Such is life.

                    • kenyadigit

                      Idris doesn’t have people out the woodwork to question his masculinity. Williams has had to deal with people coming for her sexuality and her looks for years. I get what you are trying to say about having preferences but I’m sure you know the history with Serena so don’t act surprised when people take you comment for more than what you intended.

                    • Brother Mouzone

                      Sorry sista digit but I don’t look at it that deeply. And yes I AM surprised by it being taken so far beyond just personal preference. Actually, I only said “gorgeous?”. The detailed interpretation of that is whatever is in that particular person’s head, be it self esteem issues, inferiority complex, etc…

                    • THIS PART.

              • Brother Mouzone

                One person’s gorgeous is another person’s, meh. Personal preference, that’s all, no biggie.

    • BrothasKeeper

      That baby is gonna be super nourishied from all the YT tears Serena has swilled over the years.

      • Kas

        Will nevah evah age. Bitter tears are the fountain of youth.

    • PinkRose

      And she’s marrying “one of deys mens”!!! Oh my, there’s a FLOOD of Buck and Becky tears in our midst, lol!

      • Junegirl627

        One of they mens who says she inspires him to do better!!!

        Plus let us not forget that even though he invented Reddit. is the CEO of the multibillion dollar company Reddit has become and is worth millions on his own. With all that going for him, she is still dating beneath her and he acknowledges it by saying she humbles him because she is so great.

        My fav is that her fiance says that he wears 2 watches one for his time zone and one for her time zone so he makes sure he can facetime her and be the first and last face and voice she sees every day.

        You KNOW that got Becky and Tyrone the Hotep all kinds of upset!!!

        • PinkRose

          Now see, you ain’t hafta mention Tyrone, now did ya’, ROTFL!!!

          • Junegirl627

            Hotep Tyrone is hate masturbating to Serena’s Cover photo

            • Shay

              So much truth

          • Tlholohelo Makatu

            Can’t forget about him, he (they) won’t let you.

        • LadyLeo

          the PERPETUAL BACHELOR..TYRONE THE HOTEP..with the 7+ the 5+ baby mamas..who just happen to be anything but white OR african-american..#staywoke

        • I’m here for that level of love for his woman!! DAMN.

          • Junegirl627


    • cool pic i guess

    • Kat

      They could have done a much better pic. This is just okay.

    • Wise Old Owl

      White males are always coming at her and Venus…..that’s all I am saying.

      • Freebird

        People like a soft revolution. What dude says about the men’s tour shouldnt have even registered. And white men aren’t feeling any type of way about Serna. She’s pregnant and the father is white. Its a sign they are winning in a way they always have.

        • Wise Old Owl

          Believe Me….I know they always prey on and cherry pick desirable and successful Black Women…Black Men must do better, because it is not a level playing field. I am married to an amazing, gorgeous, intelligent and awesome Black Woman and never dated interracially…My Joy is seeing Black Love: Black Folks together, whether Heterosexual or homosexual…Nothing like seeing an elderly Black Couple still in love!

          • Freebird

            Word. To all of it. Most white men are attracted to black women, like Serena, but they’re not supposed to be. Mac-n-ho’s comments are an attempt to spotlight himself and reduce Serna. Meanwhile she’s a better public person and tennis professional than he and his peers were during their prime.

            • Blueberry01

              Did you say Mac-n-hoe? ?

          • <3 This just made my heart smile!

  • ladyfresh

    They laid off another one last week but I got him on FB!

  • Looking4Treble

    “Finding out the new Black person at work is down”.

    The feeling of togetherness you get when you know fam is in the (work) house. Somebody to understand the nod, appropriation, the cookout and privilege without explanation. Priceless.

    • mr. steal your costco samples

      the DISAPPOINTMENT when Charles from design is CORNY though

      • mr. steal your costco samples

        and I’m not that hip, but damn

        • Cheech

          Shid, even I LOL’d.

      • Looking4Treble

        “Dominoes?” You mean pizza?”

        Charles. Brethren (he doesn’t get ‘bruh’). Just go ahead and gimmee your Black Card now. You won’t be needing it anymore. And never make that statement again in front of a Black person.

    • Ess da 5’6″

      I’m not quite a year at my new gig, but one of the senior editors was it for me.

      What’s always funny is the way Black people circle each other like this, trying to drop just enough hints, hoping the other person will pick up what you’re laying down. She asked me a question about hair (she’s natural, too), and we were off at the races.

      • UrbanNortheast

        Yes! Me too, down to the timing and the natural hair bonding. And her office is near mine so we can pop in if something is getting on our nerves.

    • miss t-lee

      So Priceless.

  • It’s funny you’ve mentioned the Marcus in Accounting story because I’ve been that dude at a lot of places. The support staff see a Black guy in the lab, they know they have a habit of not hiring down a$$ dudes, but then they see me say some Black a$$ ish when my guard is down. Lowkey that’s helped me get on, because they’d do me a few solids to make me look good. All hail the headnod!

    I remember one summer I somehow had managed to travel around to cookouts without hearing Before I Let Go. I made a point to play it for myself on YouTube just to feel that I had did summer right. LOL It wasn’t like I didn’t leave the house, nor see any Black people. I just somehow missed that song.

    Lastly, even though I work in the deepest darkest ghetto (with the salary to match), I do miss the headnod. Granted, it would mean working someplace with something resembling a budget and organization, but there’s a sense of camaraderie there that’s hard to resist. And I’m glad that my grandparents got to see Obama inaugurated before they shuffled off this mortal coil.

    • PinkRose

      Support staff/ typically “read” me wrong and they find out it’s a mistake in one of 2 ways. Either they’ll over hear my Black a$$ ishness (usually) or they’ll be the recipient of some variation of the following from my lab days, “Don’t let this white coat fool you”.

  • Mizwest

    I was binge watching Flavor of love (season 1) last night and in Flavs’s room on the mantle was a bottle of Hennessy…and it was like a seal of authenticity. Yes, to all of the above….

  • Jae Starz

    Man! I haven’t played a good game of spades in a minute! Nothing like an all black hand. Only thing better than a Boston is sticking the other team.

  • Jennifer

    “Watching Black people win on Chopped
    Or The Price Is Right, or American Ninja Warrior, or the Scripps National Spelling Bee. If Black people are competing that’s who we want to win.”

    This is probably why I’m watching this season of The Black Bachelorette, but ABC is effing it up with racism storylines. I’m too invested to quit at this point.

  • Giantstepp

    Speaking of Frankie Beverly and Maze, if you’ve never had the pleasure of a live show, you’ve missed out on one black a$$ party! And I can’t be too sure, but I’d be willing to bet that my drink of choice at that black a$$ party was the Henny. Man, God bless Frankie Beverly.

    • Jae Starz

      So remember when they used to have the Budweiser Superfest? I saw Frankie Beverly and Maze, The O’Jays, Gerald Levert, Next and Jesse Powell. Good times man. Good times!

      • Giantstepp

        I do remember the Budweiser Superfest. It was a big deal. And that’s an all star lineup you mention here. Good times indeed.

      • miss t-lee

        I’m jealous!!!!
        I remember Budweiser Superfest, but I never got to make one. :(

        • Jae Starz

          It’s hard to find lineups like that nowadays. Now we just get out of breath, can’t half remember the words Bobby Brown. smh

          • miss t-lee

            I give Bobby a pass. The last few years have been rough on that dude.

        • grownandsexy2

          I used to go every year. Good times indeed.

      • grownandsexy2

        I love the O’Jays and will see them every chance I get. Going to see them next month here in Philly along with the Whispers.

    • grownandsexy2

      Frankie Beverly and Maze used to close up the Essence Festival in New Orleans every year. I’d always sit in the first level right above the floor. The entire floor was a dance party when Frankie came on. You’d swear the floor was moving.

  • ValerieTheTenderoni

    Watching Black people win on Chopped
    I LOVE CHOPPED!!!!! I only cheer if they aren’t jerks.

  • kniambi

    The Marching 100 (FAMU) or nothing at ALL.

    • PriceIsRightHorns

      The highest of seven hills.

    • BrothasKeeper
      • PinkRose

        Which is “down the street” from Texas Southern…..yeah if I was you, I wouldn’t share that fact with ANYONE else, lol!.

        • BrothasKeeper

          Worse. It was U. of South Carolina.

      • Val

        Poor fella. *eHUG*

      • If I ever get rich, I’m kicking in a few bucks to hire off some up and coming band director from a HBCU and bring them to Rutgers. I need something lit at a football game besides the liquor man.

        • Mr. Mooggyy

          Rutgers plays Howard and/or Norfolk State every year, for the past few years! The bands always get house when they come!

          • Really though! Like if they really wanted the Black alumni to come through with some cash, say it’s for the band. Next thing you know, our band will be on College GameDay off the strength. LOL

            • Sigma_Since 93

              The RU Screw will neva be on College Game Day; especially if the opponent is a HBCU. Enjoy the Ray Rice days of football relevance cause it’s going to be a while.

              • Yeah, it’s going to be a few years. Rutgers cruised off being a big fish in a small pond in the Big East. Now, we’re facing against schools our own size and with way better resources. The school is getting the same payout they got in the Big East for a few more years, while Ohio State and Michigan are getting 5x more cash. We’re struggling and striving to catch up against teams that recruit nationally, and it shows.

                • Trill Mickelson

                  UMD is on the same deal as y’all with the B10 revenue. So was Nebraska, but I think they are (or are about to be) getting the full payout now.

                  On the band tip, I know we scheduled FAMU a few years ago and a bunch of folks were pissed that the band didn’t end up getting to travel (I forget why). I was looking forward to our self-proclaimed Best Damn [White] Band In The Land get shown up by an HBCU band.

                  • Blueberry01


            • Mr. Mooggyy

              Looks like Rutgers plays Morgan State this year!

              • Sigma_Since 93

                It’s going to be the only win of their season!

                • Mr. Mooggyy

                  Yea. They tend to smash the HBCUs to oblivion!

        • Brooklyn_Bruin

          When i get rich, gonna hire one of them Florida schools to play Trick Daddy’s shut up to all my haters.

        • BrothasKeeper

          ?Don’t do that. PWIs have already bastardized drumline battles. Pour money into K-12 music programs so we can get some new Parliaments, Princes, Sheila E.s, Stevies, etc.

          • It’s interesting that you mention Parliament because the original line-up of the group is from Plainfield, which is like 15 minutes away from campus. Hmmm…

    • Mr. Mooggyy


      ….Naw I like FAMU. I can’t wait until they get their numbers back up!

    • Sigma_Since 93

      Cold Steel got the game on lock!

    • MsSula

      Texas Southern U for the win!!!

      • miss t-lee

        Ocean of Soul!!!

      • Mark M

        Jaguar in da house!

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