six things every grown-ass sista should possess

last week, panama blessed the vsb pulpit with 6 things that every grown a** black man needs in his life. since we’re ardent supporters of equal opportunity and sh*t, here’s six things every grown-ass sista should possess.

1. a hobby

“what’s the most important thing for a grown-ass sista to possess?”

you know, while others may respond to this question with goeswithoutsayings like “a job” or “an education” or “a passport” or “a genius-level command of their gag reflex“, an actual hobby that doesn’t involve meeting men or buying blahniks is usually the first answer i think of. nothing says “i’m grown the f*ck up” more than a woman who has genuine interests, enthusiasms, and curiosities, and actually makes time to partake in and pursue them.

despite this, there still remains a somewhat sizable sista sub-species of seemingly “grown” walking, talking, vagina zombies with no discernible interests infecting the dating game with their uninteresting-ass e coli, and i’m curious to find out how this happened.  it’s almost as if they all took the exact same “how to be a hobbyless ho 101″ course their freshman year at howard

2. girlfriends

like i said before, when a woman tells me that she doesn’t really get along with other women, i interpret it as code for one of two things

a) i don’t really get along with other women anymore because i’m a backstabbing b*tch who usually tries to steal their boyfriends”

b)because i don’t have any friends, i’m going to expect any man i happen to be with to be my sole entertainment for the duration of the relationship”

seriously though, if you’re over 25, you’ve been on the planet long enough to cultivate at least one or two good relationships with someone else in your peer group, and you probably shouldn’t go around calling yourself a grown-up until you’re able to.

3. size, age, and situation appropriate clothing

reason number 135 why every grown-ass sista should possess at least one good girlfriend: to put your ass in a figure four if you attempt to leave the crib like this

4. orgasm ownership

if you’re a sexually active woman, the “i’m completely and utterly clueless about my vagina and have no idea how to make myself climax” sympathy card expires a month after your 27th birthday, and you probably should pencil in a permanent reservation at the kiddle table during thanksgivings until your “too old to be shook by my own snatch” ass figures it out.

5. nice hair

whether you’re rocking braids or a baldy, a bob or a halle, deceiving weave or the “spelman pullback”, a grown-ass sista should know a) how to handle your do, b) which do is most appropriate for you, and c) how not to leave the house looking like one of those tragic maury povich mulattoes whose mothers have no f*cking clue what to do

6. a go-to dude

whether its her dad, her cousin ronnie, her grade school vice-principal, or vsb, every grown-ass sista should have at least one (heterosexual!) male in her life that’ll give it to her straight with no chaser whenever she needs to know “what does it mean when he says that he only wants to see me between 3 and 3:45am on the weekends?” and other deep insights about the mysterious male mind

anyway, people of vsb, what else should every grown-ass sista own before she earns the privilegde to call herself a grown-ass sista? 

and, since we’re all here, who do you think is going to be the first popular recording artist that actually murders herself on stage during an award show because she’s trying to top a lady gaga performance? (my money’s on pink)

—the champ

I Think You Just Went Too Far.

My current favorite commercials are by Bud Light where they attempt to display just how perfect Bud Light through the extremes of various daily activities. The one with the driving dog is hands down my favorite but only because I swear I saw Tupac driving down Central Avenue in Maryland one day.

Makes no sense, does it? Aw shuga no no no.

Well those commercials got me to thinking about other areas of life where people just might take things too far. Relationships, for instance. In every relationship, there are tests. The tests vary; some are for endurance, others are for sanity and peace of mind, which comes with every piece of the rock.


While these tests exist and will exist as long as man dangles, and patience is a virtue, everybody has a breaking point. I mean we all get pissed for things. But there are some lines that shouldn’t be crossed. And in the spirit of my good friends at Bud Light and their comical depiction of the medium, allow me to bump that up two sizes to XL. Basically, let’s look at some situations that might piss you off but you’ll learn to deal with and then the point where they’ve crossed the line. This is educational, kiddies. Pull out the trusty #2, take notes, and shut the f*ck up while Professor Panama is speaking. Did Panama just go too f*cking far?

Possibly. But f*ck your couch. He’s sexxy. This is what he does.


1) Sex Tape

Not Happy – After 3 months of dating and boinking, you find out that you’ve been taped on nearly every romp in the sack, including the time you sang the theme song from Pirates of Penzance off key while wearing a checkered table cloth and some tassles.

Crossed The Line – You find out that you’ve been taped by Googling yourself and finding your videos on youtube and you’re not even one of the most viewed videos.

2) A Little Physical Violence

Not Happy – Amidst an argument, you get slapped upside the back of your head, with people watching. You might be pissed as all hell, but you ain’t exactly gonna break up with them because of a little head slap.

Crossed The Line – Amidst an argument, you get hit with THE PEOPLE’S ELBOW. That’s grounds for dismissal and an all out air assault on their assesses.

3) Tattoo

Not Happy – You wake up in the morning to find out that your girl has placed a 4-day temporary tattoo of her name across your forehead and she thinks its a hilarious joke. Not that I’d suggest this for real, but you should kick her down the stairs.

Crossed The Line – You wake up to realize that you have your bf/gf’s name tatted across your abdomen in Sanskrit because they took you out and got you drunk enough that you thought it wasn’t a bad idea because, you know, you’re in love and sh*t.

4) Nudity

Not Happy – Your girl walks around nude all the time despite your please to put those puppies away because if they start hanging any lower, you’ll have to enter them into a Ludacris “How Low Can You Go”  contest with the Twerk Team. (NSFW…you’re welcome).

Crossed The Line – Your girl walks around nude WHEN YOUR BOYS ARE THERE. You have to drop her dunny. I mean really, you can’t just play that sh*t off like, “yo, ignore her, B. She’s just looking for attention.” Mission accomplished. You can’t even be mad at your boys either. I’ve seen dudes stare at nude crackheads. There’s something about Mary nudity.

5) Little white lies

Not Happy – Your girl tells you she’s taking you to a Jay-Z concert but she’s really taking you to the opera. Talk about a blower. And not a good one either. Not that I don’t have an appreciation for opera…oh wait, Panama TOTALLY doesn’t give a sh*t about opera.

Crossed The Line – Your girl tells you she’s taking you to a Jay-Z concert but she’s really taking you to Maury Povich to tell you that you might not be the father of your child. Somebody might have to die. Seriously, can you imagine that shock? How pissed would you be if you ended up on THAT show? Or Jerry Springer?

So good people of VSB, what crosses the line for you?

And remember, it’s Friday, let’s have fun. Be sexxy like Panama.


That’s Just My Friend: Signs They’re Cheating On You With A Friend Of Yours.

Duck. Duck. GREY GOOSE!

By now, nearly everybody has heard about Robby Pardlo’s episode of the A&E show, Intervention, where he’s exposed as an alcoholic. In said episode, he admits that part of his unwinding into a raging drunk was because his girlfriend of years, Claudette Ortiz, dumped her for their bandmate Ryan Toby, who she eventually married and apparently cheated on AT LEAST two times (she has 3 kids, two of which aren’t his, but were both born WHILE she was married to him).

Da f*ck? Where dey do dat at?

While I’ve never knowingly had a girlfriend cheat on me with one of my boys, I did have an ex openly ask me if she could pursue something with one of mi hombres after I broke up with her. Me? I said, “sure, go ahead.” I really didn’t give a flying frog f*ck about her at that point and had she been hit by a rhinosaurus driving a Silverado I wouldn’t have given two sh*ts. Mostly because she cheated on me with a dude I DIDN’T know. But I knew she cheated.

I’ve lost my point. Oh John the Rabbit, oh yes. So, the whole time we were dating, apparently she was scheming on my homey though she never pursued until we broke up. And I knew something was up. How’d I know? Well, I’m a beast, I’m a dog, I’m a motherf*cking problem. But more simply, people will tell you everything you need to know. Follow me.

1. They start randomly mentioning your friend out nowhere.

You ever been out with one of your friends and they can’t stop talking about somebody new they know. But even worse, they find odd ways to bring them up. You need an example, don’t you. Cool.

Shaniquilt: I really love what NASA’s got planned for the future of hydrogen-carbide O-rings and staples.  What do you think?

Shalulu: Yeah, James was just talking to me yesterday about apples and I was thinking about NASA when he  had said…”apples”.

Shaniquilt: Da f*ck?

So imagine that scenario if you and your girl are in the car and you say:

You: Baby I love these Skittles you bought me. They so tart.

Her: James loves Skittles too.

You: Um, yeah. Why’d you bring him up there.

Her: No reason. * whistling *

Sign number one you silly sucka.

2. Not only do they bring them up, they COMPLIMENT them.

If your girl starts doling out compliments to one of your friends all willy nilly, you should definitely give her a stern side-eye and make a mental note of it. Be clear, there is NO reason that you’re girl should be paying THAT much attention to any of your homeboys that she knows what king of cologne smells best on him.

3. They always want to invite your friend to functions.

Beware your gf/bf who ALWAYS wants your homey to be there because “they so funny.” Remember fellas, humor is what charms the drawz off of any woman. Thing is, initially it will seem really benign and actually nice and sweet that they want to hang with your friends but there will come a point where it jus seems odd to invite them – like to the bedroom or ice cream.

Her: I’m tired. You think James wants to come and watch movies with us and then possibly spoon. Don’t you think that would be great? What if he rubbed on my booty too! *shriek* Yay!!!!

4. They find ways to hang out with your buddy without you.

Not sure this needs and explanation, but you should definitely kill them if this happens and any of numbers 1-3 have occurred.

5. You catch them cheating.

Sorry, pal. We’ll see you on A&E’s intervention.

That’s a quick list for you.  Good patrons of the VSB, did I miss any signs???

Lay it on me.


What’s In A Name?

I rarely rarely ever agree with any Michael McWhorter says, but even a broke clock is right twice a day. Or so the saying goes. So when I was forwarded these excerpts from a post written by Mr. McWhorter on The New Republic Blogs, I was very ready to disagree and burn in effigy the font he used to write such malarkey. The thing is, in some ways I agree with his general premise.

Oh yeah, I forgot, here’s the premise (I know you all don’t like reading two posts in order to read one so here are the pertinent parts):

The figures from the American Community Survey just in are more than crunched numbers. They suggest that this might be a good year for a certain term now familiar in American parlance to be, if not consigned to history, reassigned.

Namely, as of now, almost 1 in 10 black people are foreign-born. About 1 in 30 are from Africa. Which means that they are–you see where I’m going–African American in the true sense. Certainly a truer sense–true as in making sense–than Tracy Morgan, Donna Brazile, Jesse Jackson, or Mo’Nique.

Interesting assertion, though quite frankly, anybody who wants to draft Mo’Nique in the next race draft is more than welcome as far as I’m concerned.


It’d be one thing if it were a hundred years ago and lots of black people still had parents who had been born into slavery and grandparents who actually “spoke African,” as it was sometimes put. But this is a very different time.

A possible objection, I imagine, is that native-born blacks are African in a “different” way than actual African immigrants–but this would be a feint rather than an argument: clearly, the proper formulation, if we are to put it on the table, is that native-born blacks are African to a much lesser extent than African immigrants. In truth, a black man from Jacksonville has more in common with a white one from Tucson than he does with a man three years out of Senegal.

And I would argue that native-born blacks are so vastly less “African” than actual Africans that calling ourselves “African American” is not only illogical but almost disrespectful to African immigrants. Here are people who were born in Africa, speak African languages, eat African food, dance in African ways, remember African stories, and will spiritually always be a part of Africa–and we stand up and insist that we, too, are “African” because Jesse Jackson said so?

It’s an interesting question, no? There is some truth there. While many of us refer to ourselves as African-American, the fact is, most of us are no more African at this point than that “Irish” kid in Boston who’s parents came over on some random ship in the 1700s. Sure we’re all of descent, but given that there really ARE actual African-Americans (children of first generation African immigrants born here) who seemingly still readily identify as African, how African American am I?

Truth be told, I pretty much just call myself Black anyway and I think I’ve heard more white people say African-American than I’ve heard Black folks say it. But it is a word that is commonly donned upon our community without much objection.

Consider this: a white man from down South and a Black man from down South more than likely share a lot of the same customs, eating habits, and religious practices. The only thing separating most of us is social justice and race. But American? Sure, we’re all as American as it gets. One of my best friends went to Kenya when we were in college and upon his return he said he’s no longer considering himself an African-American, just an American, because he couldn’t be more different than the folks he met in Kenya. While I found that synopsis a bit shortsighted at the time, I do understand what he meant.

I have African friends who’ve alluded to being fearful of American Blacks (we’ve talked about this before on VSB).

Of course, it’s not really Black folks holding onto the African-American thing as handily as it is white people making sure to let us know that we’re not “American” American so perhaps McWhorter’s words are directed at the wrong audience.

But I ask you, thinking people of VSB, does it still make sense for American-born Black folks to be considering themselves as African-Americans?

Hell, does it even matter?

What say you?

P has spoken.


The Definition?

I am Panama Jackson.

I am many things to many people and I am nothing to a lot of people. To many of you I’m black letters on a white background, and to others I’m a confidante and party animal extraordinaire who brings the party when he shows up and takes it with him when he leaves.

I am a son and a father. I’m a boyfriend and a partner (no Siegfried). I cry in the dark and I put my hands where your eyes can see.

I am a Black man.

And yet sometimes I don’t even know what that means. I know what comes with being a man. I’ve been that all my life. And while I’ve been Black all my life it means different things in different places to different people. To some being a Black man means being a monster and a boogie man that will take your Girl Scout and her cookies and leaver her looking like a wilted dandelion. To others I’m an object of study, an odd fascination and curiosity upon which studies and fear campaigns have been built.

My goal is to be a positive light in a community where some of the worst get all the shine. As a Black man in today’s day and age I walk a fine line between street corner hustler and corporate boardroom participant and leader. I live amongst men with nothing and no reason to continue other than to spite death. But I work among men whose sole purpose in life is to grow powerful enough that only God could command more respect.

I am on the lookout because at work I am the same person I avoid in the streets.

I am fear and pain but I’m love and compassion. My community means the world to me even if at times it refers to me as an outsider using its resources for my own personal gain. Ironic considering that my own personal gain is esteem at the hands of another’s lack thereof.

I am a brother and a mentor. I am an uncle and nephew. I’m a role model and a cautionary tale. I’m somebody’s strength and an infrequent picture of weakness. I’m a southerner with northern tendencies, raised conservatively with liberal leanings, and a bringer of the ruckus while usually hoping the problem resolves itself.

I’m strong when necessary yet unappreciative of rodents in my space. I’m a dreamer and a realist. I struggle with raising a child in a world I want while praying for change in the world in which I reside. I’m afraid of the police but rebellious in the face of unregulated authority.

I am a Black man with insecurities but unafraid of life. I appreciate The Doors as much as I appreciate Jay-Z. Ahmad Jamal introduced me to the piano and Eazy-E introduced me to the keys. I’ve got soul and I’ve got rhythm. I dance when I hear music even if no music is playing.

I’m like Che Guevara with bling on, I’m complex. But I’m transparent.

I’m too sexxy for my shirt, so sexxy it hurts. And I’m shy.

I shine on stage while fading into the background.

I’m Timbalands in the summer time and Chuck Taylor’s in the winter. I’m Kenneth Cole and Banana Republic. I’m tall socks and dog tags.

I’m fashion and an oddball. I’m the coolest geek ever. I’m the coolest cat you’ve never met.

He is I, and I am him. Slim with the tilted brim.

I’m the star of the story.

I am a lot and nothing. I’m something and a nobody. I believe I can fly even though I’ve never left the ground.

I go up on the downstroke but I’m down by law.

I’m Panama Jackson and I’m a Black man.

We talked yesterday about what a grown a** Black man needs to succeed in life, but we never defined a Black man.

How do you define a Black man?

Talk to me.