With all due respect, there’s not too many blogs that are as universally funny – from a male perspective – as Very Smart Brothas. Founded in 2008 by Damon Young, Panama Jackson, and Liz Burr as a culture blog, VSB has won numerous awards and has cultivated a sizable community with its unique brand of witty and irreverent content from Young and Jackson. With help from a grant from the Pittsburgh-based Heinz Endowments, last month VSB expanded from a blog to magazine and here’s why we instantly loved it:
1. It looks brand NEW!
As Creators, we’re always thinking, growing, and changing but one thing we have to commit more to doing is evolving. That involves staying true to our core but allowing ourselves to grow in ways that expand our reach and impact while taking on next-level responsibilities, something that we applaud VSB for doing with its new direction.
2. They kept it real. As usual.
In their official announcement, Editor-In-Chief of the site Damon Young, highlighted that one proverbial, soul-stirring question we all deal with at the height of our creativity: ‘What the hell are we doing?!’
“This is an accurate synopsis of each of the dozens of conversations Panama and I have had in the past three years about the future and direction of VerySmartBrothas. We’ve both often joked that it has managed to stay afloat in spite of ourselves. But, after a couple years of telling the same joke, it loses its humor. We loved VerySmartBrothas for what its become, what its done for our personal and professional lives, and how its managed to cultivate one of the most unique communities of friends, fans, and followers on the internet. Still, we felt like it had the potential to be something bigger. We just…I don’t know. We just couldn’t figure out how.”
3. They believe that there is no ‘I’ in team + that we need more spaces for young Creatives of color.
Transitioning from a blog into a magazine is a big deal which is why it’s always important to have a solid team and VSB has a phenomenal team on their hands with Danielle Belton (their new Contributing Editor), Sarah Huny Young (their new Art Director), and senior writers Maya Francis, Jozen Cummings, Alex Hardy, and Samantha Irby.
One of the missions of VSB is to be a place that cultivates young, talented, and hungry writers of color and they also have open opportunities for both interns and contributors. (Visit here for more info) We will never run out of reasons on why we need more platforms that support and empower Creatives on color. That’s why we exist.