My Friend, Dr. Gem

As both Panama and I have stated many, many times, VSB has easily the best fanbase of any blog on the internet. Obviously, we’re not particularly objective when saying that — “our fans are the best fans ever” is about as panderific as you can get — but trust me when I say that we’re both amazed by how consistently awesome you are all. We are definitely fans of our fans.

Today, though, is about one fan in particular. A person who’s been around since 2008, and has been one of our biggest supporters ever since. How big? Tom Hanks big. Lebron’s headband in 2016 big. My head big.

Big enough to be completely intoxicated and still volunteer to give an on-camera interview about us during our #threedeez book party

And, big enough to subject herself to a get-up that made her look like a DeBarge brother and five hours worth of my bipolar direction just to help me give the world a visual of what a “Diva Dude” looks and sounds like.

There are many other things I could say and many more stories I could tell about her. Some printable, and some, well, some a bit too ratchet for a person with a Ph.D to have floating around the internet. Since she may decide to run for president of La Raza or some shit some day (and since I don’t necessarily have the best handle on the line between appropriate and inappropriate), I won’t share any others.

Why am I bringing this all up today? Well, some time this afternoon, Gem of The Ocean, aka Gem Jones, aka my Ace Boon Goon, will officially go from being a Ph.D candidate to a person who actually has a freakin Ph.D, and I want to return the love she’s given us. I couldn’t be happier for her and prouder to call someone my friend.

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

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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.

  • Christina White

    Gemmie Boo! Congrats! \O/
    *Bad Bitches with Academic Advantages stroll*

    • *Bad Bitches with Academic Advantages stroll*

      lmbo i love it!! thanks chris!!!

  • Sigma_Since 93

    Congrats Dr. Gemmie!

    Let’s do lunch and I’ll pay for parking :D!

    • lmbooooooooooo im wit it!!!

      and thank you :)

  • Meisarebel

    I chuckled. The 8th Grade Formal got me though. Nice.

    Oh, and congrats.

    • nillalatte

      You late Meisarebel. Gem plays an excellent Diva Dude. BTW, do you have any of those traits? ‘Cause if you do, we got issues. I pay for parking on dates. ;)

      • Meisarebel

        Oh, I realised I was late as hell.

        And as far as I know, I don’t possess any of those. Apparently I’m some kinda anomaly because I refuse to let a woman walk on the street side of the pavement. Worrying bout my new jeans seems kinda trivial after that. :-P With that being said, you can pay for the parking darling. I won’t fret. ;-)

    • LOL thats all scripted by comedic genius Champikins.

      and thanks :)

  • *fist bumps and what not*

    Congrats Dr. Gemmie Gonzalez-Jones, Ph.D! I’m glad all of your hard work paid off. May your future of super science and football blogs be fulfilling. #ninjasinlabcoats

    Also, Happy Belated Birthday!

    • Gemmie Gonzalez-Jones, doe?!?!?! lololol iCant with you!!

      but thanks for all the props homie, much appreciated :)


    I’ve also loved me some Gemster since the olden VSB days and I was honored to meet her in person during the Three Deez/VSS TAKEOVER weekend. She is the goon beneath my wings. Whatever that means. BARS.

    Congrats, Gemmie! *hugs* SO well deserved. *flings ALL OF THE lab coat shaped confetti*

    • She is the goon beneath my wings. Whatever that means. BARS.


      cheeks i looooooooooooooooooooooove you!!!!!!!!!!! you are the best!!! thanks for all the love, love :)

  • Congrats Dr. Gem!
    As a lurker since VSB began, I have to say that you are one of the top 10 commenters/supporters of this site. It’s good to see the VSB community doing great things!

    • wow! what a compliment – thank you!!!! im beaming :)

  • congrats Dr. Gemmie. all the hard work finally pays off today. :-) proud of you!

  • AfroPetite

    *Throws up massive amounts of confetti *

    Congrats Gem! What a wonderful accomplishment :-)

    • *dances under falling confetti*

      thank you!!!

  • Yo, I think that is so DOPE!!!!

    You really are very smart!

    Hold it down out there! Congrats!!!!

    • thanks!!! idk about being very smart, but i have persevered through it all and thats what counts ;-)

  • Congrats! I know how hard work it is to get it done. Good work getting over the hump. :)

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