DC: Ride Along Movie Pass Giveaway | Ride & Groom Experience Saturday, January 11th

photo(5)Because Panama loves the kids, I often get the opportunity make it rain like its Christmas at Magic City. What does this mean in layman’s terms? Glad you asked.

I’ve been given the opportunity to give away 30 ADMIT 2 passes to my friends (you all) for a special screening of the new Kevin Hart and Ice Cube movie, Ride Along, invading your movie theaters on January 17th. If you’d like to see it early AND for free, send me an email to panama.jackson@gmail.com and the first 30 people will get the passes.

Again, don’t hit me on Twitter. Or on Facebook. Email me. Sprinkle me.

Screening Details are as follows:

Wednesday, January 15
Regal Gallery Place

(Seating will be first-come, first served)


Kevin Hart and Ice Cube lead the lineup in Ride Along, the new film from the director and the producer of the blockbuster comedy Think Like a Man.  When a fast-talking guy joins his girlfriend’s brother—a hot-tempered cop—to patrol the streets of Atlanta, he gets entangled in the officer’s latest case.  Now, in order to prove that he deserves his future bride, he must survive the most insane 24 hours of his life.

For the past two years, high-school security guard Ben (Hart) has been trying to show decorated APD detective James (Cube) that he’s more than just a video-game junkie who’s unworthy of James’ sister, Angela (Tika Sumpter).  When Ben finally gets accepted into the academy, he thinks he’s earned the seasoned policeman’s respect and asks for his blessing to marry Angela.

Knowing that a ride along will demonstrate if Ben has what it takes to take care of his sister, James invites him on a shift designed to scare the hell out of the trainee.  But when the wild night leads them to the most notorious criminal in the city, James will find that his new partner’s rapid-fire mouth is just as dangerous as the bullets speeding at it.

John Leguizamo and Laurence Fishburne join the cast of the action-comedy directed by Tim Story.  Ride Along is produced by Will Packer (Think Like a Man), alongside Ice Cube, Matt Alvarez (Barbershop) and Larry Brezner (Good Morning, Vietnam).


If you’re in DC and looking for a different experience, come out on Saturday to Best Cuts Barbershop on Georgia Avenue for a Ride & Groom experience.


Shit Bougie Black People Love: Washington, D.C.


Every population has a Mecca. A place worthy of praise and pilgrimage. A hallowed ground where all things begin and end. For Muslims, the Mecca is, well, Mecca. For crackheads it’s Home Depot parking lots. For Black basketball players and fans it’s Rucker Park in New York City. For White basketball players and fans it’s wherever the hell in Indiana Hoosiers was filmed.

And, while Atlanta is seen as the Black American Mecca, the D.C./Maryland/Northern Virginia (DMV) area stakes that claim for Bougie Black People (BBP).

When you mention the DMV to a BBP, watch their eyes sparkle, their cheeks rose, their skin blush, and their hair stand. Feel their blood pressure rise when namedropping places like Busboys and Poets, Park, Bohemian Caverns, Oohh’s and Aahh’s, and Sequoia. Listen to how those who don’t currently live there say things like “That’s where I need to be.” while those who do live there make sure to tell every BBP within earshot that “This is where you need to be, man.” Pay attention to how a population drenched in snark and cynicism speak of the DMV with a sincere reverence reserved for season four of The Wire.

To understand why exactly the DMV is so revered by BBP is to understand both BBP and the DMV’s predominate culture.

First, this area is one of the few places in the country where it’s not uncommon to find entire communities full of Black people making at least 75 grand a year. This is largely due to the preponderance of important sounding and largely inessential government-related jobs found here—occupations with titles like “Search Optimization Control Specialist,” “Director of Afro-Latino Coalition Initiatives,” and “President of the United States.”

These types of jobs check each of the BBP’s boxes. They’re usually not accessible unless you possess an advanced degree, making it an immediate BBP status marker. They sound important enough to justify the six figure student loan debt needed to receive that advanced degree. And, it’s the only place on Earth where one can get a good job with a degree in Afro-American Studies.

Also, most government-related organizations have certain quotas that need to be filled, making them particularly friendly to Black people. Since BBP are Black, this benefits them.

The DMV also serves as a hub for several incubators of current and future BBPs—Howard, Hampton, Morgan State, and all the other DMV HBCUs that don’t matter enough to be listed individually—breeding grounds where BBP culture is first indoctrinated. Only Atlanta has a comparable base of prospective BBP, but Atlanta also has Katt Williams. And worms.

When you consider that most of the country’s BBP were able to attend school through Stafford, FAFSA, and Sallie Mae—all federal programs—D.C. is basically the Magwitch to the BBP’s Pip.

Also, it doesn’t hurt that the current real (Barack and Michelle Obama) and fictional (Scandal’s Olivia Pope) benchmarks for BBP life have direct DMV ties. This by itself would be enough to draw BBP to the area. There’s no higher compliment you can pay a BBP than calling one a “younger, nerdier Barack” or a “shorter, browner, hungrier Michelle with Olivia Pope’s calves,” and they’d migrate there just for the hope of somehow being Obama-ed by osmosis.

Most importantly, while certain major cities have their own unique currencies, D.C.—and, by extension, the entire DMV—trades in power and connectivity. People who migrate to D.C. aren’t looking to become rich and/or famous in the same way a person drawn to LA, NYC, or even Chicago might be. There, it’s about “making a difference” and “affecting change”—ultimately, the self-affirming power to influence other people’s lives: the BBP’s most potent aphrodisiac.

That this particular type of power is often gained by being a bit savvier, a bit more competitive, and a bit more socially intelligent than the rest is also key, as your potential for growth is directly tied to your tendency to make better, smarter decisions. BBP would not be BBP if they didn’t possess these skills. The BBPs attraction to D.C. is largely based on the concept that this is the part of the country where their particular skill set is most appreciated.

Yet, while the DMV is filled with BBP, it’s also filled with enough regular Blacks to help BBP still feel somewhat connected to the community. Perfect for BBP looking to impress socially conscious parents or convince friends that he’s still “not all that far removed from the hood, you know.”

All of this combines to produce a place where BBP began to migrate to because it’s BBP friendly. And where BBP continue to migrate to because…

1. It’s filled with enough BBP to feel comfortable

2. It’s filled with enough regular Black people to scare White people.

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

Karaoke 4 A Cause – Wednesday, December 11, 2013

flyer-13Every year, a some friends of mine put together an event that’s full of fun and purpose called Karaoke 4 A Cause. And it’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s a huge karaoke party and toy drive to support kids in need in Washington, DC. So everybody dances, sings, and makes a fool of themselves all for a great cause.

So this Wednesday, December 11, at Liv Nightclub in Washington, DC, from 630-1030pm, come party for a cause and sing your heart out. The price of admission is a new unopened toy worth $20 or more in value (got to make sure we’re giving kids quality toys).

VSB DC Screening: Thursday, October 3rd, 2013 – RSVP Link

VSB-DC Screening

Please forgive the tardiness. It was supposed to be up on Friday, but due to circumstances, I wasn’t able to get the link together. Anyway…

On Thursday, October 3, 2013, Panama Jackson and Damon “The Champ” Young will be presenting a screening of our pilot for the series “Very Smart Brothas” in DC at Busboys and Poets at 14th and V Streets, NW from 7-9PM.

Seating is EXTREMELY LIMITED and only those who successfully RSVP will be allowed entry.

We will be joined in attendance by actors Leo Breckenridge (“Andre”) and Taja V. Simpson (“Rachel”) and after the pilot screening, will hold a Q&A about the project. Busboys will have their full food and drink menu available to you for your consumption.

See you there!

RSVP Link: www.vsbscreeningdc.eventbrite.com


Death Around The Corner…And I Don’t Even Notice

This was on your television yesterday morning. This was my reality yesterday morning.

This was on your television yesterday morning. This was my reality yesterday morning.

Pretty much everybody in the country is aware of what’s happened today/yesterday  right now in Washington, DC. At the time of my writing – from my office, no less – the news has confirmed that 12 people have been killed by possible three gunmen, one of which has allegedly been killed. [Update (504pm)...it's an nword. Of course it's an nword. For some reason, we've really been trying our hand at these made for television crime sprees. I'm fairly certain we can trace this back to the rise of DipSet. I can't prove it, but I'm saying.]

I, along with a solid couple thousand individuals, work less than a mile from where the mayhem has been taking place and I’m not even the least bit concerned. The thing is, I have every reason to be concerned. I’m less than a mile away. The persons responsible could literally be on the run right now heading anywhere. Who knows? But I have reached this unhealthy part of my life where I’m completely desensitized. As long as I know my kid is cool I’m like…blah.

When I first heard about it this morning before I got to work I was concerned that my commute would be hampered by the chaos. To be fair, at that point, there were no reported fatalities. I recognized it as a tragedy and I’d never wish anybody to be shot. And yet, as close at is is to me, it seems so far away. Just like most other tragedies. I don’t know if this reflects age, cynicism, or whatever. When 9/11 happened I remember being terrified.

Same thing with the DC Sniper.

I will say that the Newtown shootings did hurt. There’s something about the deaths of children, no matter the circumstance, that is heart-wrenching.

Years ago, I wrote a post on my old site about the neighborhood I was living in at the time. In the 4-years that I’d lived there, at least 10 people had been murdered in the mile strip between the two major roads that bounded my complex. Not all happened in the complex, but one person was arsoned. One person literally tried to drive a car through one of the buildings. Mind you, I lived in one of those complexes that was built with cinderblock siding. Point being, there was more damaged done to the car than the building but damage is damage. My roommate’s car was stolen 3 times during our stay there; twice right out of parking lot. In fact, once, I got home at 430pm and didn’t see his car. I walked in and he was there. Apparently his car was stolen in the 30 minutes between when he got there (4pm) and when I got there.

And do you know, he wasn’t even pissed. Just frustrated that his car was stolen again. I wrote in that post that I kind of wished I was one of those people who was upset and angry when stuff like this happened. Basically, I wanted to be a white suburban woman who was motivated to start a Neighborhood Watch as opposed to being a young urban youth who was like, “they didn’t get me? cool.”

Because somebody was getting got. Get it?

Point is, apparently I’ve been this way for quite some time. But it seems a bit more of an issue now that I’m literally within walking distance of a national news story raught with tragedy and I’m checking on it every few hours or as somebody calls to make sure I’m good.

This concerns me. It concerns me more than I’m concerned about Kanye after his rant at the Pusha T album listening party. And I’m plenty concerned about Kanye. He’ll never get the credit, but he’s damn near on Chris Brown levels at times in terms of “lock him up for a bit just for his own sake…” Plus after his vocal change on the Kris Jenner show…you know what? This isn’t about Kanye.

I’m not proud of this, but hearing about 40 shootings and/or killings in Chicago on a weekend doesn’t even shock me. And it should. I should be outraged. I should be appalled. And I’m not. Not even close. I’m just a dude in an office reading a website about a news story in my backyard and realizing that tomorrow will be another news story about something else that shouldn’t have happened but did.

If though I try not to think about it too much too much tooo muuuuuuch, I may need therapy.

Am I alone here? What’s the pulse here? Are we all just desensitized unless its so far beyond our comprehension that we have no choice but to be scared? Does anything shock you anymore?

(I promise not to write about death tomorrow. Cross my heart…)