blackest thing, Featured, Lists, Pop Culture, Race & Politics

The 10 Blackest Moments Of 2015 (…So Far, At Least)

Two thoughts came to mind while watching Trevor Noah interview Kevin Hart during his Daily Show debut Monday night:

1. I feel somewhat unqualified to critique Noah’s performance. Mainly because I never was a huge fan of the Daily Show. I didn’t dislike it at all. It just was never must-see-TV for me. If it’s after 11 and I’m still watching TV, 9o% of the time it’s a basketball game. So it’s difficult for me to compare his performance to Jon Stewart’s — which is what every Noah critique boils down to — become I’m just not familiar enough with Stewart’s to make that assessment. (It’s also an inherently unfair critique, in no small part because it’s comparing a 2015 Stewart to Noah, not a 2000 Stewart.) That said, I thought he did a decent job. I believe he’ll get better. And I also felt while watching it that the interview would have been more interesting if Hart was the host and Noah was the guest.

2. This was Black as fuck. Was it as Black as Viola Davis quoting Harriet Tubman in a room full of anxious White people; an act that forced at least one to sob a half gallon of salty-ass and delicious-ass White Tears? No. But Trevor Noah having Kevin Hart as his first interview was pretty damn Black. Both literally and, considering how Comedy Central has appointed two Black men (Noah and Larry Wilmore) to follow such beloved cultural figures (Stewart and Steven Colbert), contextually.

Anyway, it’s apropos that this would happen in 2015, because this year has been filled with public-ass Black-ass moment after public-ass Black-ass moment. It’s a clown car of Blackness. A Blackness turducken swallowed by a Black-ass sperm whale.

Any other year, this moment with Noah and Hart would easily be one of the five Blackest moments of the year. Nine months into this Black-ass 2015, however, it barely cracks the top 10.

9. Draymond Green going through each of the five stages of “I’m a professional now. I have a 401k and a landscaping guy. A motherfucking landscaping guy! Me! But still. Don’t test me.” Blackness in less than five seconds

We’re all Draymond.

8. Sistahs On the Reading Edge Book Club getting thrown off the wine train for laughing while Black

Question: What’s the Blackest possible thing they could have been reading when this happened?

The Bluest Eye? The Final Call? James Brown: The Godfather of Soul — the autobiography of James Brown; a book where Al Sharpton wrote the foreword? Who knows?

7. “Annalise Keating” (Viola Davis) getting her hair combed by “Ophelia” (Cicely Tyson) on How to Get Away with Murder

cicely

I will never not be convinced that HTGAWM employs a “Blackness grip” whose only job is to craft and insert random instances of unambiguous Blackness in random episodes.

6. Key and Peele’s “Negrotown” skit

Alex Hardy would give an entire kidney to live there. I’d give one of Alex’s kidney’s too. (Just kidding, Alex.)

5. Empire’s success

Empire is basically the pork ribs of network television. Dismissed and discounted by mainstream palates. Until Black people came through and put some Sweet Baby Ray’s on them. And now everyone wants a bite.

4. Serena’s single woman mission to drink, bathe in, and make lemonade with all the White Tears

When Serena drinks her daily fill of White Tears, do you think she uses a special goblet? Perhaps one even labeled “Teary Deliciousness” or “Mary Carillo”? Or does she just use a coffee mug?

(My guess? She mixes them with Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, and drinks them straight from the blender.)

3. President Obama singing Amazing Grace 

Do you realize how Black 2015 has been when the Black president singing Amazing Grace at a Black church on national television is only the third Blackest thing of the year? Any other year, this would lap the rest of the Blackest thing of the year field. It would be doing cartwheels while the rest were rounding the corner. This year it’s third. (Third!)

2. Viola Davis’s Emmy speech

If ever in doubt of how Black a particular moment happens to be, measure the depth and density of the White Tears it produces.

1. Bree Newsome removing the Confederate flag

You’d have to go back to whenever this picture was taken…

marvin jesse

Yes, this is Marvin Gaye. Playing basketball. With Jesse Jackson.

…to find a single Blacker image than the one of Bree Newsome atop of that flagpole, removing the Confederate flag her damn self because the state was taking too damn long (and yes, 50 or so years is too damn long) to do it themselves.

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.

  • cryssi

    Wow, To Pimp a Butterfly didn’t even crack the list….this year has been black af

    • Damon Young

      honestly, i forgot all about that album when writing this. it wouldnt have made the list, though

      • cryssi

        I weigh it according to the make white people uncomfortable scale…I haven’t seen any white tears yet though

        • It’s really Black in an artsy way. I mean it had jazz, funk, George Clinton, Tupac, and multiple Isley brothers. If it was the 70s and Kendrick was doing poetry it would probably be one of the Blackest albums ever. Not in 2015 though.

          • cryssi

            It does have a classic vibe to it. So is it just not one of the blackest moments of 2015 or not the blackest album??? Now I feel like if this list was strictly music, well I can’t think of anyone blacker.

    • Echo

      I was definitely expecting Kendrick to be on here myself. When I didn’t see it I was taken aback for a hot second.

    • RewindingtonMaximus

      I’m not going to lie to you…is anybody pumping that album as much as they did Good Kid, Maad City?

      I think the idea of Kendrick dropping a pro-Black album was great….the reality…ehhhhhhh.

      • cryssi

        I like it…lol, it makes my white coworkers uncomfortable so I blast it.

        But, I don’t hear too many people listening to it.

        • RewindingtonMaximus

          It is a sincerely great album. But it almost references a conversation I had with DBboy yesterday when Panama talked about Fetty Wap’s album.

          To Pimp A Butterfly is boring. It’s a great album but it doesn’t amp you up past the first few times you hear it. You have to find your own inspiration to want to care about it once you get what he’s saying.

          • cryssi

            I definitely understand that

            • RewindingtonMaximus

              Regardless though…I had Complexion as my ringtone for 4 months straight…I love that song.

  • Jennifer

    I would submit that Serena’s goblet bears the name of “Chris Evert”. I know cuz I bought a set when Serena was on HSN. I pull one out and have a White Tear Spritzer (white tears and white sparkling wine) every time Serena beats somebody’s butt on the court. While Carillo is a hater, Chris Evert is a hating a s s hater.

    • Damon Young

      maybe she has two cups

      • Jennifer

        Three cups. John McEnroe.

    • I just think Chris Evert is still tight Jimmy Connors ain’t giving her that D. Dude is hulk strong at 65. Like Sway needs to have some answers for his strength!

  • Dr. She Who Reads

    You gotta add Viola taking off her wig, eyelashes, and makeup on network television.

    • Damon Young

      honorable mention

    • ALM247

      That is the cause for #2, so it’s part of #2 by default…..Yes!!!!

  • cakes_and_pies

    You should have a poll for the most Blackest thing that happened during 2015 in December. There were so many Blackest moments that happened this year, some of the events seem like eons ago.

    • Damon Young

      good idea

    • Medium Meech

      He shouldn’t post that pole until March 2016. Cause black people.

  • TeeChantel

    #AskRachel was black af. And funny.

    • Damon Young

      that’s an entirely different list. the Blackest Twitter moments

      • TeeChantel

        Oooh yeah. Can’t wait for that post

      • RewindingtonMaximus

        That’s more like a marathon than a list.

    • The funniest one was the one with Raven Symone talmbout if you’re Black and don’t know the answer to the #AskRachel questions. LOL

      • TeeChantel

        LOL. I may or may not have spent a good chunk of my time browsing all the #AskRachel jokes. I absolutely loved the “moken troll” one.

  • ALM247

    I live for #2 and #4…..it’s been a great year. Lord, if you don’t do anything else in this season…..Thank ya!!!!

  • skinnynow

    I thought you were gonna couple Jesse and Marvin with this image. Because that’s when you’ve reached peak blackness: when your action tops a pickup game between Jesse Jackson and Marvin Gaye combined with James Baldwin and Maya Angelou getting down on the floor, we can all pack it in because it will get no blacker.

    • kareemsota

      That Jesse and Marvin bball shot was about to be my profile pic, until I saw the Marvin peen sneaking out the leg…still love it and adds to the Blackness.

      • celinad6

        *scrolls back up for a closer inspection

        confirmed

        • *does the same* I concur

          • brothaskeeper

            Yaw nassy.

        • Cleojonz

          Yep, there is definitely something winking there lol.

        • I missed it the first time. Didn’t miss it once the secret handshake had been revealed.

      • AlwaysCC

        lol just crop the picture. you’ll be good.

      • LadyIbaka

        I don’t see what ya’ll are seeing.

        • his print isn’t big enough for you to acknowledge? for shame.

          • LadyIbaka

            Exactly.

      • YeaSoh
      • I’m not EVEN going to look. I’ll take your word for it.

        • Renners

          You have to look and really use your imagination based on level of play, effort and laws of gravity.

    • Epsilonicus

      Top 3 Blackest things I have seen in my life

    • That’s Amiri Baraka and Maya Angelou

      • skinnynow

        Dang, you’re right. Still, it’s epic blackness.

      • I thought James Baldwin would be a little too gay to be getting down with Maya like that. Leroi Jones however…

        • Val

          Huh? Too gay to dance?

          • Oh no. No such thing. That brotha in the picture, though, looks like a man prepared to help her out them drawers.

      • bbg

        Love, Amiri Baraka….he saved me from Respectability Politics, after I read Blues People.

  • TheCollinB

    I hold strong hope for 2016 when our black president officially moves out the White House. It will undoubtedly take that top coveted negrorious spot. I’m talking rented U-Haul backed up to the front door black. Until then…

  • “(It’s also an inherently unfair critique, in no small part because it’s comparing a 2015 Stewart to Noah, not a 2000 Stewart.)”

    Thank you! I read a review on Slate (by Willa Paskin), and with each word I read I was like, But it’s Noah’s first night. Oh, and you’re talking about Jon Stewart from last month not Jon Stewart when he took over in 1990-whatever.

    All I know is that Trevor Noah and Larry Wilmore (along with their dimples. How’d Comedy Central manage to have two light skint dudes with dimples on during the 11 o’clock hour four nights a week?) are getting me to watch (albeit online) Comedy Central when I didn’t really watch all that much.

    Lastly, I swear I was just thinking about #9 earlier this week. Something happened on the metro, and during those three seconds I don’t know how many thoughts crossed my mind.

  • LadyIbaka

    Jesse Jackson got him some nice looking legs.

    Trevor Noah…his brand of funny is unfunny to me. But I wish him nothing but success, because his my peoples. Kevin Hart was a terrible choice as first guest in my opinion.

    Is Cicely Tyson a reincarnated Methusalah? She’s been old since forever.

    • ALM247

      “Jesse Jackson got him some nice looking legs”.

      Shhh….don’t say it too loud. Jesse may show up on this post trying to impregnate someone.

      • LOL It’s funny…because it’s true.

    • LMNOP

      That was his legs like 40 years ago though. Probably looking a little different these days.

    • Cleojonz

      IKR loooking all skrong and stuff. (and yes I meant to spell it that way lol)

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