Damon Young, Co-Founder Of Cultural Criticism Site Very Smart Brothas: ‘What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker’

Damon Young, Co-Founder Of Cultural Criticism Site Very Smart Brothas: ‘What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker’

Damon Young
Very Smart Brothers blog creator Damon Young speaks during an interview at the Associated Press Bureau in Washington, Friday, Sept. 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Damon Young, co-founder and editor-in-chief of cultural criticism site Very Smart Brothas, has written his memoir and is both refreshing and painfully truthful about the absurdity of being Black in America and what the Black male experience is like.

Written in the form of a series of essays, “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker” is already pulling in rave reviews. As NPR reported: “Reading his work, one quickly understands Black people perennially struggle to find a space to breathe without the pressure of institutionalized racism.”

In “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker” Young covers the gamut — racism, hypermasculinity, even inadequate healthcare.

Young wrote he believes that his mother, who died of lung cancer, would be alive today if she were white. He claimed, like so any others in the Black community have, that doctors don’t take the pain of Blacks seriously.  

“White supremacy is so gargantuan and mundane that sometimes its existence and its proficiency can’t be measured, addressed, or even seen without a stark change in perspective. It isn’t like gravity. It is gravity. It is a ceaseless pressure intended to keep Blackness ground-bound and sick,” Young wrote.

In the book, Young breaks it down for all just what it’s like to walk the tightrope of being Black in America.

He penned: “While the experience of American Blackness is too varied and motley to feign some sort of universality, none of us are immune to the random and haphazard violence of n****r; of being called one, of being treated like one, of being thought of as one. It, like n***a, also transcends status and station, as even n***as who believe they’ve somehow escaped and eclipsed n****r are susceptible to the n****r wake-up call, of having their blankets of perceived privilege yanked from underneath them, hurling them into space while n****r’s savage gravity vaporizes them. It’s through this collective fire that n***a is earned. We’ve earned the right to be it, to call each other it, to allow it to permeate our thoughts and our taunts, our minds and our music, our sentences and our souls.”