The Blackest Thing We’ve Seen This Week » VSB

blackest thing, Featured, Race & Politics

The Blackest Thing We’ve Seen This Week



Why this Kool-Aid ad featuring Malcolm Jamal-Warner, brought to our attention by Tonja Stidhum, is the Blackest thing we’ve seen all week.

1. There is no single food Blacker than the Kool-Aid packet. Not greens, not chitlins, not salt, not nothing. Imagine Cornell West playing dominoes at Rucker Park in Harlem. That’s how Black the Kool-Aid packet is.

2. Because, as Black as the Kool-Aid packet is, until this ad, no Black person had any idea there were 15 flavors of Kool-Aid. There is only grape and red for regular Blacks, orange for Bougie Blacks, and blue for that Labor Day your mom invited her White coworkers to the cookout. That’s all we knew about before this ad, and we still don’t believe it.

3. The sweater Malcolm-Jamal Warner is rocking. It’s not quite a Cosby sweater, but not quite not a Cosby sweater. But it does look very warm, and since most Black people are either anemic or grew up in households where the ac didn’t come on unless it was 126 degrees, a not-quite-not-a-Cosby-sweater indoors is Black as fuck.

kool aid4. Malcolm-Jamal Warner is in this ad.

5. Malcolm-Jamal Warner’s first name is Malcolm-Jamal. He is, quite possibly, the only Malcolm-Jamal who has ever existed. Jamal is Black enough already, but adding a hyphen to it takes it from “dark-brown” to “8-rock.”

6. The Kool-Aid pitcher is empty. The text from the ad — and Warner’s face — suggest someone left an empty pitcher in the refrigerator. This is some Black-ass shit.

7. The Kool-Aid man kinda looks like Charles S. Dutton.

8. There is definitely some type of texturizer in Malcolm-Jamal Warner’s hair. When you think about this and the fact that he’s rocking a not-quite-not-a-Cosby-sweater, there’s no doubt Malcolm-Jamal Warner is the one who drank all the Kool-Aid. Why? Because he’s too fucking hot.

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for 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 Or don't. Whatever.

  • RewindingtonMaximus

    The only thing Blacker to compliment that ad would have been a picture of the Colonel from KFC wearing a Rakim chain and dressed head to toe in Dappa Dan.

    • Neptunes presents The Clones

      Or FUBU

      • Val

        You’re selling cars now?

        • Neptunes presents The Clones

          Could be,you want one

      • RewindingtonMaximus

        No no…Cross Colours my friend

  • Iris Simpkins

    I always wondered who drank the lemon-lime kool-aid flavor. Whenever we were allowed to pick the flavors at the store, lime was always passed over. Until we learned we could mix them, making kitchen kool-aid creations

    • PunchDrunkLove

      grape and lemonade flavors!!

      • Detroit Skater

        best combo e’va!!!

        • PunchDrunkLove

          I LOVE it.

  • GemmieBoo

    this is very Black. brilliantly Black. and while i enjoy being associated with lots of Blackness…. f*ck kool aid.

    • GemmieBoo

      that said – i feel compelled to admit that there is video footage of me at the age of 3 or 4 making kool-aid like it was a science experiment, using words like crystallization (which is not what dissolving kool-aid is, but my dad had me believing this for many, many years) while flashing my best kool-aid-smile for the camera.

      • Tonja (aka Cheeks)

        this story is not only Black, it’s very smartly Black.

        • GemmieBoo

          VSB is a learned lifestyle indeed

        • Naturally Alise

          that is black with beauty and brains. total package blackness.

      • The 9-9…& the 2000

        The ebonicity of this story is beautiful.

        • Jetty

          Yeas ebonicity…. can that become a thing!

    • Guest

      The ebonicity of this tsory is beautiful.

  • Guest

    I think the only non-black thing in that picture is the pitcher the kool-aid was in. All black folks drank kool-aid out of something like this…

    • Heavens2Murgatroid

      We still use that bad boy for like every holiday. If that pitcher were to ever come up missing my Moms is putting out a manhunt

    • Wait, this did post under “guest”? I thought i deleted this….LOL


    • PunchDrunkLove

      And color stained

    • t_99

      Yep! Ours was mustard yellow.

    • YES. Ours was that ugly 1970’s shade of yellow and like PunchDrunkLove said, color-stained.

  • Tonja (aka Cheeks)

    Shouts to Alise for sending this to my email. I love that I hate my foolish friends. #BecauseOfAliseWeCan

    • Naturally Alise

      *curtsies while bobbing head* (because black)

  • Kimwrites

    So were you alternating between Jamal and Jamar on purpose?

    • Damon Young

      LOL, I was not. Damn. Fixed.

  • Naturally Alise

    I was actually staunchly anti-KoolAid until my mother brought home the delicacy known as Purplesaurus Rex. When they discontinued that godlike nectar of Purple-Drank Ambrosia I probably said something akin to “GET YOUR HAND OUT MY POCKET!” before throwing a metaphorical chair at the literal life pain. Fin.

    • dnomlas

      Your comment had me laughing out loud in my office for a good 10 minutes! Thank you for the nostalgic description of one of the best Kool-Aid flavors ever!!!

    • miss t-lee

      Purplesaurus Rex did GO!!!!

    • Chris Streetz Poet Bright

      Truth spoken my friend

    • Cortlandt Franklin

      I’m crying laughing.Fin.

  • This is a REAL kool aid pitcher. Also, this is going to make me sound uber bougie, but i did dig on that kool aid lemonade…..#ducksdownforcover

    • Tonja (aka Cheeks)

      I do too! And I mix lemonade with my Kool-aid packs ALLATIME. Folks better get up on these made-up Kool-aid recipes. Will change lives.

      • PhlyyPhree

        Look. my dad introduced me to the concoction known as ‘1pack orange+1 pack grape+diabetes level sugar’ and my life has never been the same.

      • NomadaNare

        My dad swore by mixing lemonade with all the other flavors. To this day, I can’t drink of the other flavors without the tartening agent that is lemonade Kool-Aid.

      • I used to mix it with Sprite, pineapple juice and various white liquors.

        • LMNOP

          This sounds so good. Rum punch. Now I’m thirsty.

    • PunchDrunkLove

      I’m feeling nostalgic

    • miss t-lee

      Whoa! We had an olive green pitcher.
      Tupperware, FTW

      • PunchDrunkLove

        Lawd, do they still make Tupperware? Remember those Tupperware parties your mom threw or your mom attended and you went with? Soooo many plastic containers for all sorts of things. Man o man

        • miss t-lee

          Hahah. First time I had a cheese ball was at a Tupperware party.
          They’re still around!

          • PunchDrunkLove

            The test of time

    • Epsilonicus

      This pitcher takes me back

  • Jodeci, 90s R&B, and now Kool-Aid. Thank you guys for already making my entire week great.

  • quiet_listener

    I’ve always wondered about the novelty of red koolaid. The tried and true staple I know is Sharkleberry Fin- a pink coloured one. Is that just a Jamaican thing or nah?

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