Black History 365: Damon Young
Damon Young is a writer, critic, humorist, satirist, and professional Black person.
He’s a co-founder and editor in chief of VerySmartBrothas—coined “the blackest thing that ever happened to the internet” by The Washington Post and recently acquired by Univision and Gizmodo Media Group to be a vertical of The Root—and a columnist for GQ. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, LitHub, Time Magazine, Slate, LongReads, Salon, The Guardian, New York Magazine, EBONY, Jezebel, and the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
Damon’s writing—which vacillates from anthropological satire and absurdist racial insights to razor sharp cultural critique and unflinching indictments of privilege and bias—has often generated praise from from his peers. Ava DuVernay called his voice “clear and critical.” Micheal Eric Dyson said he’s “one of the most important young voices in humor writing today.” And Kiese Laymon called his work “the best of American twenty-first century writing.”
Damon’s debut memoir—What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker: A Memoir In Essays (Ecco/HarperCollins)—is a 2019 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and is a tragicomic exploration of the angsts, anxieties, and absurdities of existing while black in America. NPR called it an “outstanding collection of nonfiction” and The Washington Post “hilarious” and “unflinching.”