The 10 Blackest Moments Of 2015 (...So Far, At Least)

Fox screenshot
Fox screenshot

Two thoughts came to mind while watching Trevor Noah interview Kevin Hart during his Daily Show debut Monday night:

1. I feel somewhat unqualified to critique Noah's performance. Mainly because I never was a huge fan of the Daily Show. I didn't dislike it at all. It just was never must-see-TV for me. If it's after 11 and I'm still watching TV, 9o% of the time it's a basketball game. So it's difficult for me to compare his performance to Jon Stewart's — which is what every Noah critique boils down to — become I'm just not familiar enough with Stewart's to make that assessment. (It's also an inherently unfair critique, in no small part because it's comparing a 2015 Stewart to Noah, not a 2000 Stewart.) That said, I thought he did a decent job. I believe he'll get better. And I also felt while watching it that the interview would have been more interesting if Hart was the host and Noah was the guest.


2. This was Black as fuck. Was it as Black as Viola Davis quoting Harriet Tubman in a room full of anxious White people; an act that forced at least one to sob a half gallon of salty-ass and delicious-ass White Tears? No. But Trevor Noah having Kevin Hart as his first interview was pretty damn Black. Both literally and, considering how Comedy Central has appointed two Black men (Noah and Larry Wilmore) to follow such beloved cultural figures (Stewart and Steven Colbert), contextually.

Anyway, it's apropos that this would happen in 2015, because this year has been filled with public-ass Black-ass moment after public-ass Black-ass moment. It's a clown car of Blackness. A Blackness turducken swallowed by a Black-ass sperm whale.

Any other year, this moment with Noah and Hart would easily be one of the five Blackest moments of the year. Nine months into this Black-ass 2015, however, it barely cracks the top 10.

9. Draymond Green going through each of the five stages of "I'm a professional now. I have a 401k and a landscaping guy. A motherfucking landscaping guy! Me! But still. Don't test me." Blackness in less than five seconds

We're all Draymond.

8. Sistahs On the Reading Edge Book Club getting thrown off the wine train for laughing while Black


Question: What's the Blackest possible thing they could have been reading when this happened?

The Bluest Eye? The Final Call? James Brown: The Godfather of Soul — the autobiography of James Brown; a book where Al Sharpton wrote the foreword? Who knows?


7. "Annalise Keating" (Viola Davis) getting her hair combed by "Ophelia" (Cicely Tyson) on How to Get Away with Murder


I will never not be convinced that HTGAWM employs a "Blackness grip" whose only job is to craft and insert random instances of unambiguous Blackness in random episodes.

6. Key and Peele's "Negrotown" skit

Alex Hardy would give an entire kidney to live there. I'd give one of Alex's kidney's too. (Just kidding, Alex.)


5. Empire's success

Empire is basically the pork ribs of network television. Dismissed and discounted by mainstream palates. Until Black people came through and put some Sweet Baby Ray's on them. And now everyone wants a bite.


4. Serena's single woman mission to drink, bathe in, and make lemonade with all the White Tears

When Serena drinks her daily fill of White Tears, do you think she uses a special goblet? Perhaps one even labeled "Teary Deliciousness" or "Mary Carillo"? Or does she just use a coffee mug?


(My guess? She mixes them with Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey, and drinks them straight from the blender.)

3. President Obama singing Amazing Grace

Do you realize how Black 2015 has been when the Black president singing Amazing Grace at a Black church on national television is only the third Blackest thing of the year? Any other year, this would lap the rest of the Blackest thing of the year field. It would be doing cartwheels while the rest were rounding the corner. This year it's third. (Third!)


2. Viola Davis's Emmy speech

If ever in doubt of how Black a particular moment happens to be, measure the depth and density of the White Tears it produces.


1. Bree Newsome removing the Confederate flag

You'd have to go back to whenever this picture was taken…

marvin jesse
Yes, this is Marvin Gaye. Playing basketball. With Jesse Jackson.

…to find a single Blacker image than the one of Bree Newsome atop of that flagpole, removing the Confederate flag her damn self because the state was taking too damn long (and yes, 50 or so years is too damn long) to do it themselves.

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)



You what is about to be the Blackest thing in 2015?

My birthday is today!!!!!!!!