How to Build a Black Relationship Bomb


Very Smart Brothas' Damon Young gives his comedic take on what happens when we idealize high-profile African-American couples.

Step 1: Find a famous Black couple, and hold them and their relationships up as infallible paragons of everything right with Black love, Black dating, Black relationships, Black sex, and Black marriage

It does not matter if this couple is real (Barack and Michelle, Will and Jada, Jay-Z and Bey, etc), fictional (Cliff and Claire, Martin and Gina, Darius and Nina, Dwayne and Whitley, etc), swingers (Will and Jada), dead swingers (Ossie and Ruby), weird as f*ck (Will and Jada, again), or figments of your f*cking imagination (the uber-modern and fulfilling relationships we assume Common, Andre 3000, and Mos Def have with women because, well, they're Common, Andre 3000, and Mos Def).

In fact, it doesn't even matter if the couples contain people you personally wouldn't date because of your excessively arbitrary standards (Darius is too short, Barack and Will are too lightskinneded, Dwayne is a nerd, Ossie was old even when he was young, Whitley is too bougie, Michelle and Claire are a bit too tall, educated, and independent, Nina is kind of a ho, Gina definitely rocks a headwrap and curlers to bed, etc). As long as they're Black and they're together, they're benchmarks.

Step 2: Refer to said couples by their first names

Doing this obviously makes logistical sense. Some couples are so iconic there's no need to say their full names when mentioning them. Also, it's just easier to say and/or type "Barack and Michelle" instead of "Barack Obama and Michelle Obama" …


Read the rest of Damon Young's piece at Very Smart Brothas.

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.


Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of He is also a contributing editor at He lives in Pittsburgh and he really likes pancakes. You can reach him at

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