* Young grew up in the East Liberty section of Pittsburgh. After graduating from Canisius College with an English degree, he taught high-school English and also served as an outreach coordinator who helped develop a college preparatory program at Duquesne University from 2007-10. When that program was shut down in 2008 because of a funding shortage, Young left academia and resolved to earn a living through his writing. Through his personal blog, which he had launched in 2003, he connected with blogger D. Marcellus Wright, whose nom de plume was Panama Jackson.
* Very Smart Brothas (VSB) inspired the creation of a 2013 television pilotand a self-published 2011 book titled Your Degrees Won’t Keep You Warm at Night: The Very Smart Brothas Guide to Dating, Mating, and Fighting Crime. It was at the book’s launch party that Damon Young and Panama Jackson, who already had been collaborating for three years to administer the VSB blog site, met in person for the first time.