Terence Nance and Damon Young on Random Acts of Flyness, Intentional Acts of Blackness, and the Beauty of Lotion

Four things you don’t really need to know before watching this (but I’m going to tell you anyway)

1. Although this video is 12 minutes of Terence Nance (the creator and star of HBO’s Random Acts of Flyness) and I talking about everything from subverting the white gaze to the performance of masculinity (and the importance of moisturizing), we actually spoke for 90 minutes and could’ve gone for 90 more.

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2. I’d never heard anyone say “innavigable” aloud until Terence did—twice. I tried very hard to pretend like I wasn’t as impressed as I was by that, and I think I succeeded. (Although, by admitting that aloud, that success is probably now a failure. Ah well.)

3. I flew up to New York City last week to film this. When I arrived at the studio the day of the shoot, the homie Ashley Velez (who’s the head of video production and shit at The Root) expressed dismay that I wasn’t wearing an “I Love Bougie Black Girls” shirt. Apparently I’ve worn one in every other video I’ve done for The Root, and I think she was looking forward to seeing that more than seeing me. I apologized for disappointing her.

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4. This was fun.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)

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DISCUSSION

jaetheartist
Jae watches the world turn day-glo

Do you have any plans to post the entire 90 minutes? Would love to see where else the conversation took the two of you. Nance’s film An Oversimplification of her Beauty’ is one of my favourites.

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