Selected Work

October 14, 2019

There Are No Good Apples

It was somewhat disconcerting for my cousin, a cop in Washington, D.C., to attend my book event at Politics and Prose in March. Not really for me, since I knew he was coming. But when he walked in towards the end of my talk—in full vested, booted and armed cop gear—the atmosphere shifted...

Damon Young, Very Smart Brothas

October 4, 2019

18-Year-Old Brandt Jean’s Hug of Amber Guyger Made Me Sick. But It Ain’t About Me, Though

The conversation about Brandt Jean’s hug of convicted murderer Amber Guyger has mostly cannibalized both the news of the (still surprising) conviction and the (not surprising at all) sentence. The image of the act is both explosive and saccharine; a molotov cocktail dipped in high fructose corn syrup.

Damon Young, Very Smart Brothas

September 28, 2910

I Pray for Murder (Sometimes)

I’ve learned how to dodge a bullet. But how do you dodge a stroke?

Damon Young, New York Times

August 22, 2019

A Case for Why Jay-Z Should Forget About the NFL and Just Buy a Popeyes Franchise

Of the myriad possible metaphors for the Popeyes Chicken Sandwich craze of 2019—which is a thing I will tell my kids about when they ask how America voted for Donald Trump—my favorite is that the sandwich itself represents heaven. 

Damon Young, Very Smart Brothas

June 28, 2019

White People Are Boring

Soggy toilet paper sheet repurposed as a mesh romper for bougie chipmunks David Brooks emerged from his seltzer waterbed today to warn us that the Democrats will definitely lose the Presidential election if we don’t remember to be as damp as he is.

Damon Young, Very Smart Brothas

June 13, 2019

How It Feels to Be ‘Inside Out’ After 40 Years of Keeping Everything In

I don’t know where to start, so I’ll just start with the bar I sat at while writing this...

Damon Young, Very Smart Brothas

April 1, 2019

My Broke, Black, Beautiful Parents

Damon Young on Growing Up with PTBD: Post-Traumatic Brokeness Disorder

Damon Young, LitHub

March 26, 2019

The Last Time I Got Into a Fight

In an excerpt from his new book, What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker, VSB founder and GQ columnist Damon Young reflects on the last time he got into a physical altercation, and the most badass thing he ever said to someone.

Damon Young, GQ

February 22, 2019

A (Very Short) Case for Why Pittsburgh Is the Blackest City in America

I’m not going to cite the Homestead Grays or the history of the Hill District. Nor will I The Pittsburgh Courier, Homewood, Teenie Harris, Billy Eckstine, Phyllis Hyman, John Edgar Wideman, Little Haiti, The Crawford Grill...

Damon Young, Very Smart Brothas

June 9, 2018

I Have Post-Brokeness Stress Disorder

I don’t have Oprah money, but I’m so used to setbacks like overdraft fees that my new financial status is surreal.

Damon Young, New York Times

August 20, 2018

Hang Up and Listen: The Last Bruh You Hear Before You Get Hit in the Face Edition

Slate’s sports podcast on NFL trash talk, college-basketball rule changes, and UMBC.

Stefan Fatsis, Josh Levin, and Damon Young, Slate

September 27, 2018

Lindsey Graham Is Scared Shitless

Damon Young, Very Smart Brothas

October 23, 2018

Megyn Kelly Is A Professional White Woman

Damon Young, Very Smart Brothas

November 12, 2018

Our Parents Might Not Have Known Better About Spanking. We Do

Damon Young, Very Smart Brothas

December 12, 2018

I Have a Son Now, Which Means I Can Finally Start Respecting Men as People

Damon Young, Very Smart Brothas

March 10, 2017

The Disturbing Truth That Makes Get Out Depressingly Plausible

Yeah, we are still noticing new things about Get Out.

Damon Young, Slate

May 5, 2017

I Love What LaVar Ball Stands For

I hate LaVar Ball.

Damon Young, Slate

June 15, 2016

How Ayesha Curry Became the World’s Most Controversial Couscous-Recipe-Tweeting Demi-Celebrity

The wife of NBA star Steph Curry became a battleground between progressive and reactionary factions on Twitter. Then she got famous.

Damon Young, Slate

July 2, 2016

Former News Anchor Wendy Bell Invents an Amazing New Standard of Whiteness

After being fired from her job for a racially insensitive Facebook post, the former WTAE anchor outdid herself this week with a (since deleted) video.

Damon Young, GQ

November 3, 2016

How to Use Pickup Basketball Profiling to Your Advantage

It's all about managing expectations.

Damon Young, GQ

November 11, 2016

I'm Tired of Good White People

Nearly 60 million people—an overwhelming number of them white—elected Donald Trump to be the next President of the United States. But what does that mean for everyone else?

Damon Young, GQ

December 6, 2016

Joe McKnight is dead because his life didn't matter enough for him to be alive

The shooting of the former NFL player at the age of 28 synopsizes America’s feelings about black men and women – and the families they leave behind

Damon Young, The Guardian

December 10, 2013

On The Agony of Making Year End Lists

Damon Young, Complex