Why The ‘White Women Are Winning’ Argument is a Losing One

Columnist says she's 'over' racial comparison when it comes to marriage success

Warning: getimagesize(http://dev.blackenterprise.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2011/04/57280390-300x223.jpg): failed to open stream: HTTP request failed! HTTP/1.1 404 Not Found in /home/blackenterprise/public_html/wp-content/themes/blackenterprise/single-standard.php on line 35

[caption id="attachment_149165" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Very Smart Brothas Panama Jackson & Damon "The Champ" Young"]Panama Jackson and Damon Young of Very Smart Brothas[/caption]

Damon “The Champ” Young and Panama Jackson were fans of each other’s writing and connected over Instant Messenger to create the super witty and very popular blog, Very Smart Brothas, three years ago. Chockfull of pop culture, dating and relationship musings, the site now averages 200,000 unique visitors a month and earned two Black Weblog Awards in 2010 for Best Group Blog and Best Humor Blog. Not bad for a pair of guys who went into business together before even meeting. Still, Young, a 32-year-old Pittsburgh educator, and Jackson, a 31-year-old Washington D.C. government analyst, make it work. They communicate via email and have churned out over 750 posts since VSB launched in 2008, all while increasing their devout and very vocal fan base–the blog reels in about 350 comments per post. With the January release of their self-published book, Your Degrees Won’t Keep You Warm at Night: The Very Smart Brothas Guide to Dating, Mating and Fighting Crime, Young and Jackson have taken their first major step of branding outside the blogosphere. As part of Black Blogger Month, the pair share their thoughts with BlackEnterprise.com on being business partners, blogging versus penning a book, and what it means to be “very smart.” –Christina M. Tapper Our blog stands out because… Jackson: It’s entertaining. We’re entertainment-based. We have fun with it. We realize humor is a tool and helps with the delivery and everyone responds pretty well to humor. People trust the Very Smart Brothas brand because… Young: Of the content. There are numerous blogs on sex and dating, and you’ll see these topics on Nightline or Steve Harvey with his Strawberry Letter, but we’re different. We’re not trying to be experts or talk condescendingly–other sites do that. We average 300-350 comments per post. That helps us stand out. Our readers are into the conversation. We’re consistent and honest. Jackson: We’re extremely consistent in the type of writing [we do] and what we focus on. We don’t try to tell people what they need to do with their life. We just write and entertain. People trust us because we’re honest and funny. And our readers love honesty and humor. We realized blogging was a business when… Young: When we started seeing the level of responses and people talking about us, then people wanted to write about us, talk to us... I began to pay attention and thought maybe we have something here. Maybe put more energy and re-plan things for VSB and that’s what we’re doing. The biggest mistake we made in business was… Jackson: We didn’t have a clear focus at first. We were just writing. Planning some things a little better, understanding the admin side of running a blog and mapping out what we’re trying to do and what direction [we should go in] are all things we could have done better. Networking is important because… Young: It has helped us become a brand. We aren’t as popular without meeting people and doing the VSB happy hour events. We don’t do the traditional networking, the relationships we’ve been able to grow with people are online and those people helped us create a community brand. They know who we are, what we do and what we’re capable of doing. Building a brand is important because… Young: You want your brand to be recognizable. We want to have people think of VSB and consider us when opportunities come up–call us when they need someone to talk to about relationships or need someone write a profile about. Building a brand allows us to pursue a myriad of opportunities and, also, you don’t want all the time you spend on the blog to be in vain. Jackson: People come to us for entertainment and to have discussions with like-minded people who, we assume, are educated and established. As a brand we are very smart brothas and sistas, we have formed the community. It’s important to build a brand because we’re building something that is a destination for this community. Being a Very Smart Brotha means… Young: That you’re able to have intelligent conversation, be objective, laugh at yourself, reason, appreciate humor and satire. Jackson: Thinking like a wise man but speaking in the voice of the people. Not succumbing to stupidity. It’s just about being smart and real enough to relate to people. Provide different perspective and start the conversation. It’s taking everything you learned in life and applying it and paying it forward and having fun. We measure our success by… Very Smart Brothas Book CoverYoung: Our growth. Our traffic has grown and never dropped in the past 36 moths and I want to continue that. Get more eyes on the page. Book sales are a good way to gauge how popular we are and how much room we have to grow. Jackson: Thus far our general bar of measurement is how good of a conversation we generated. The only real way to measure our success if seeing what we manage to pull off next. We were in the Washington Post, BET reached out to us, as well as the Michael Baisden Show; I think our success is dependent how far we take VSB and how many books we sell. Anyone who want to follow in our footsteps should… Young: Realize there are no overnight successes, even for people who have been writing for years. You can’t be afraid to work or work in the dark. You can’t expect to be popular from day one. You’re going to have to work on your craft and voice and continue grinding. Having a partner in business is… Young: Challenging. You have to remember you’re working with someone else. I’m a little more impulsive. I’ll do something without talking it over with him, but I have to be more considerate of my business partner. Jackson: An adventure. It’s a real ride. Especially since we never met until this past April. We connected about six years ago online before starting VSB. The running joke was we’d finally meet on Oprah.   Be sure to check out the rest of the digital thought leaders as they're revealed each day by logging on to BlackEnterprise.com/BlackBloggerMonth.

Columnist questions notion that white women are 'winning' when it comes to marriage (Image: Thinkstock)

When I saw the title of Andrea Michelle’s Uptown magazine article Why White Women Are Winning, my eyes hit the ceiling. What a silly notion. What, exactly, is the sense in making white women some sort of normative group that black women should compare themselves to? While we do need to examine certain disparities across racial lines from time to time, I don’t think that marriage statistics is one of those issues; furthermore, as there is no proven universal standard white relationship behavior or black relationship behavior, we can’t make a reasoned comparison. Throw in the unique challenges that black women (and men) face in mating that are influenced by centuries of race-based oppression that white daters aren’t contending with and I’m already over this article before I read it.

And then I read it. And I was even more over it.

Read more at Madame Noire

  • chillinyc

    If you “need to examine certain disparities across racial lines from time to time,” you need to examine the fact that a website, a magazine(s), and a tv network already exist for black people. I feel like this is a hot subject that no one writes about. Seriously… I’d be interested to read!

    • Lisa

      Yeah, right after you read how the other 100 channels and 50 magazines are owned operated and features 95% or more of white people. Then maybe you will be able to understand how 1 channel and a few magazines is just a drop in the bucket. REALLY!

      • Penile Implant

        Whatever Lisa,

        Lets be honest, on cable half the f’ing stations are sports stations, and we know who dominates in those arenas. And I think Chillynyc is making the point that you have SPECIFIC geared channels like BET. if WET made an appeareance it would be a regular hoot-n-nanny.

  • jim masterson

    Mrs. 0bama, 0prah, and the Williiam’s sisters. They can match up and day with Her Thigness(Hil-D0g) Rosie the Lesbeaux and the two witches, Behar and Walters. Walters loved the black senator from Mass. Brooks? He was a Republican btw, as was Abe Lincoln, and the Republican party platform from 1860 to 1964 always had equal rights in it for the black, colored, negro.

  • Baldheaded Foo

    I think black women need to worry more about latinas these days than white girls. Latinas have the best of both worlds: white woman’s hair and black woman’s curves and booty. White women are old school.

  • LatinaLover

    Baldheaded Foo is correct. White women have BEEN out for a LONG time in my hood. We all peepin salsas and flip chicks now.

  • SoulMan

    “Latinas have the best of both worlds: white woman’s hair and black woman’s curves and booty.”

    Lol, so true! latinas and middle eastern/armenian chicks are the sexiest these days. If you live in a non-diverse place then you have to still have to deal with white women. Glad that’s not me!

  • RockStarr

    Latinas can be very sexy, agreed. But we need to support the sistas too. Personally, I don’t think a lot of black women are as ghetto as they used to be 5, 10 or 20 years ago. That helps a lot. And remember it was black men who first encouraged the sistas to be ghetto (remember the songs back in da day: fly girl, around the way girl). The media needs to catch up, white girls HAVE BEEN out for awhile!

  • InstantReplay

    Black men still like white women?? where?? Most I know are diggin spanish chicks now.

  • jay

    Why are black people so obsessed with race?

    • Myrella

      ArmaninNa mez ognec haskanal bolor uenutynnbrr@ internetum ashxatelis. Internetum haytni darnalu ev bisnes anelu hamar vochmiayn petqe imanal sayt stexcelu hmtutyunner@, ayl nayev ayn jisht matucel@, vorin menq qayl ar qayl tirapetel ev der tirapeteluenq das@ntacneri @ntacqum. Menq arajin ashkertnernenq, bayc mer kap@ erbeqel chenq korcni @nker Armani het qani vor na misht patraste patasxanel ir bolor ashakertnerin huzox harcerin. Bolorin xorhurdem talis grancvel ev masnakcel das@ntacnerin manavanq vor ayn dzez trvume anvjar, chapazanc harmaravet dzer isk tanic webinarneri mijocov ev amenakarevor@ kapvumenq mimianc ev uraxanum mer das@nkerneri araj@ntacnerov ev hajoxutyunnerov` @nker Armani glxavorutyamb. Es husovem vor ays dproc@ kunena erkar ev kanach janapar qani vor ayn uni azniv npatakner. MAXTUMEM AMENALAVN U BARIN.Dzer dproci arajin ashakertneric` Bagrat ^_^