damon young’s “what doesn’t kill you makes you blacker” is full of lol’s & hard truths

March 28, 2019

When Damon Young launched Very Smart Brothas, he had no idea the site would become an independent success. He saw it as a launching pad to get on the radar of publications like GQ, Ebony and New York magazine. Young’s site ended up taking on a life of its own and merged with The Root after it was picked up by Univision. This moment was just the first of many successes in store for him.

His most recent project is What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker: A Memoir in Essays. The book (just released this week) is about growing up in “The Burgh” (that’s Pittsburgh for us tourists), masculinity and the lack of economic security he experienced in his 20’s and 30’s.

What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker follows beautifully in his predecessors like James Baldwin who famously explored his experience being Black in America. Young describes this experience, “To exist in a ceaseless state of absurdity; a perpetual surreality that twists and contorts and transmutates equilibrium and homeostasis the way an extended stay in space alters human DNA.”

This book is made up of 16 different personal essays. Young’s writing is described by NPR as funny and full of ugly truths. We are so excited to read this book and support!