10 Breakups That Would Totally Absolutely Devastate Black America More Than Brangelina's

Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Parkwood Entertainment
Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Parkwood Entertainment

My cousin, the unsinkable sarah huny young, and I regularly frequent the same coffee shop. But we rarely see each other there because she's usually there early (9am to 1:30-ishpm) and I usually don't get there until after 2pm. Today, however, I had a meeting there at noon and was able to chop it up with her for a bit afterwards.


After we went through today's standard Black person conversation topic, we eventually segued to something a bit lighter than the televised execution of unarmed Black people. Brangelina's breakup. Whether this news was a surprise. (It wasn't.) If it's even worth it to break up with someone when you have six kids. (It's not. To quote Cardi B, we have six kids, we together…foreva.) And, if the rumors about Brad's infidelity are true, if an affair with Marion Cotillard is worth it. (No and yes. No, because affairs are wrong and shit. But yes because Marion Cotillard is Marion Cotillard.)

I then joked about whether we'd be able to make it through the day with this heart-wrenching news. To which huny replied "Eh. I think we'll manage to pull it together about Brangelina. Barack and Michelle on the other hand?"

Which got me thinking: Which breakups would cause the most (collective) devastation within the Black community? Barack and Michelle are obvious choices, but who else would cause us to reevaluate our lives and rewrite our Twitter bios if they happened to split?

Jay Z and Beyonce

If they ever divorced, the reason why they split would probably be far more interesting to people than their actual split. The elevator fight would forever be their Zapruder film. (Which I guess would make Solange Jack Ruby.)

But, as Danielle pointed out a couple months ago, we desperately need for them to stay together because we need to do everything within our power to prevent a Jay Z Lemonade response from ever happening.

Oprah and Stedman

Of course, some people would say "Umm…don't you have to actually be together to break up?" But those people would be petty haters and terrible tippers. That said, if this were to ever happen, it would free Stedman up to achieve his destiny. To reunite with his long-lost twin, former attorney general Eric Holder, and Cat Daddy their way through happy hours and Essence Festivals. And they could call themselves The League of Extraordinarily Lightskinned Gentlemen Callers.


Courtney B. Vance and Angela Bassett

This Yale-graduating, over-enunciating power couple represent everything that's right with Hollywood. And Black America. And, of course, grammar. Because collectively they've never met a vowel they didn't pronounce the shit out of. Maybe Barack and Michelle represent #lifegoals, but Courtney and Angela are definitely my #dictiongoals.


Macaroni and Cheese

Yeah, I know. Neither Macaroni nor Cheese is an actual person. But just imagine how devastated we'd collectively be if they decided not to be seen in public together anymore? If they were just tired of putting on the act for so long and needed some space. Of course, it would be Cheese's fault. Because Cheese is a flirt with unlimited options. And the introverted Macaroni just has…tomato sauce sometimes? So we'd all take Macaroni's side. Which would cause Macaroni to get some confidence, hit the gym, and start getting together with other foods, like Kale and Beets. And we'd be happy for Macaroni outwardly, while silently thinking "Damn, Mac. That's not a good look at all." And then Cheese would make this big public spectacle to get Macaroni back, promising fidelity and more attractive low calorie options. And then they'd get back together, and we'd all be happy again.


Kerry Washington and Nnamdi Asomugha

We need them to stay together. Just as a default response to the person with 861 followers who tweets incessantly about how "hard" it is to date when everyone knows your business. Because if Kerry and Nnamdi can have dozens of kids without the public knowing shit until Kerry is like 213 weeks pregnant, your anonymous analog-ass will be fine on fucking Tinder.


Will and Jada

Because, if they don't make it, Questlove's story about their house immediately becomes 57% less cool.


Lebron and Savannah

Real talk, has there ever been a sports-related marriage that Black people were (collectively) bigger fans of? Even if you hate Lebron, you have to admit that, from the outside, his marriage seems to hit each of the benchmarks of awesomeness. If only Kyrie would take some notes.


The Deltas and Elephants

I'm not quite sure if Elephants would miss The Deltas that much. The Deltas on the other hand would need to buy new wardrobes, pillowcases, screensavers, license plates, iPhone cases, silverware, thongs, wedding figurine themes, refrigerator magnets, throw pillows, place mats, sweaters, socks, sweatpants, NuvaRings, knitting kits, emoji, stationary, dildos, picture frames, tattoos, cup holders, backpacks, Halloween costumes, and awkward daydream protagonists.


Denzel and Pauletta

No one is really thinking about Denzel and Pauletta's marriage all like that. But people would be upset if it was gone. Basically, Denzel and Pauletta are the Black marriage equivalent of green beans at Thanksgiving.


Russell Wilson and Ciara

Just because we can't ever give the members of "Name On The Milk Carton In His Aunt's Refrigerator" Twitter that validation.

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)



Is Marion Cotillard supposed to be attractive? I had to do a Google image search and I don't see it. What am I missing?
Side note.. when i see her name I think collard..