How this 'very smart brotha' is raising very smart kids

An interview with popular blogger Panama Jackson.

Kimberly Wilson, theGrio | 6/3/2017, 2:21 p.m.
An interview with popular blogger Panama Jackson.
Panama Jackson and kids. (Courtesy photo)

Panama Jackson, one half of the very popular blogging duo “Very Smart Brothas,” has been keeping us entertained for nearly 10 years. On the famed blog, Jackson provides the interwebs with his thoughts on everything from relationships to pop culture, to social justice. You’ll even find his humorous takes on cultural topics, such as “20 Things ‘You Ain’t Gon’ Do In A Black Household” or personal revelations such as “This Election Failed My Daughter.”

VSB has won numerous awards and has cultivated a sizable community with its unique brand of witty and irreverent content from Jackson and co-conspirator Damon Young. But when Jackson’s “mind isn’t his nine,” and he isn’t making his “pen his Mac-10,” he’s busy raising three beautiful children in Washington, D.C.

In an interview with theGrio for our #ThisIsBlackFatherhood series, Jackson shares some of the juggles of balancing work and fatherhood with three children, how it’s changed him and the added responsibility he faces raising two black boys.

TG: What year did you become a father?

PJ: 2009.

TG: What does fatherhood mean to you?

PJ: I think for me personally fatherhood means being accountable, being there, setting a good example. It means laying down a framework for raising decent human beings. And mostly just being there and helping build esteem and showing…With my daughter I need to make sure I’m a positive example of what a man is. What a black man is. And that she knows what to look for later in life assuming she wants to settle down and get married or whatever type of partner she chooses she wants. I need to show her an example of that.

And I guess similarly for my boys, give them a blueprint for how to be sincere, genuine, meaning what you say and being accountable to who you are and the decisions that you make.

TG: So you know for women, the conversation is being able to juggle it all…balancing work between motherhood. Do you feel like there’s that kind of thing for men? And do you think you deal with that struggle of trying to have work-life balance and juggle your career and also juggle being a father?

PJ: Oh, absolutely. I am with the mother of my son and my daughter comes from a previous relationship. But we have a very good co-parenting relationship. I’m juggling being a father to kids who have things to do while also making sure my job is done at work. So there’s a lot of different pieces that have to come together in order to make it work.

But I think… and maybe this is just because of how I’m personally wired… I also never think about how much I have to do. Like I really don’t how much it is until people tell me… I never take a moment to sit back and think about stuff going on. It’s just, I was raised if you got something to do then you just do it. It might be juggling but it all manages to work itself out. In one way or the other everything that’s supposed to happen happens.