I know I’m not the only one who felt some type of way when Damon Young continued his unwarranted attack on grits. It’s like he went into a Juneteenth celebration and yelled, “This is a fake Fourth of July!” But don't worry, my country black people. As a representative from the “country-ass Negro” delegation, I'm here to bring your countrified blackness to a new level beyond our beloved grits, sugar or no sugar. Here are the top black people you’ll run into in the country.
(Note: You should read the rest of this article with Big K.R.I.T.’s “Country S**t” playing in the background and a pot of neck bones simmering on the stove for your supper.)
Uncle Shug and Aunt Cookie. “Shug” is a nickname for “sugar bear.” (No relation to this Sugar Bear at all.) It’s a nickname often given to someone with a sweet personality, just like Cookie. This is a paradox for two main reasons. One, you would think that someone with such a simple nickname would have a just-as-simple real name. However, their real name often sounds like something from a Shakespearean play, like Thelonious Monk III or Bartholomule. Two, Uncle Shug and Aunt Cookie are often not sweet at all. They will expose your dirty drawers and call you out on your shenanigans.
Dude named after an inanimate object. Names include Spoon, Cornbread, Diamond, Train, Pork Chop, Cucumber, Stain and Crawfish Stain. How did they get these names? I don’t know. What are their real names? I don’t know. I just know that they’re that cousin your grandma always says “smells like outside”—a combination of freshly cut grass, gasoline and musk.
Dude named after an animal. Duck, Raccoon, Rabbit, Horse, Dolphin, Kangaroo, Honey Badger, Koala Bear, Wombat, Timon and Pumbaa are just some of the many names. Men with these names often talk with a heavy tongue, speak with a strong accent (especially when pronouncing words like “shrimp” and “thunder”), have one or two gold teeth, and are more than likely a retired plug. Believe nothing this mofo says.
Lady Jean, aka the Food Plug. She can cook up a storm. Why a storm? I don’t know. But if there were a hurricane named Jean on its way, the whole neighborhood would stay because we know the food would be lit! Jean is the food plug for weddings, baby showers, family reunions, divorce parties, repasses, etc. The conversation at any event often centers on Jean’s cooking. Me: “Guh, where you at?” Her: “I’m at the repass.” Me: “Who did the repass?” Her: “You know Jean threw down.” Me: “Oh my God! Bring me a plate … by the way … who passed?”
Niecy. Niecy is the girl your grandmother calls hussy under her breath each time you mention her name. She’s young, or at least appears to be, and is what others would traditionally call a gold digger. She always has money, drives a big body (a Camaro or Challenger) and always carry a Gucci handbag full of money. How does she earn this money? If you let her tell it, modeling. Truth be told, she’s fooling with a married man twice her age. You barely see her because she parties in Miami or Atlanta every other week and moves to and from Houston every six months. Whenever she returns, she acts brand-new, knowing damn well her sugar daddy dropped her for his wife for good.
Willie Charles, Willie Mac, Willie D. Anybody with the name Willie. But for the sake of simplicity, I’ll just use Willie Charles. He dresses like a reformed pimp, even though he may have never been one. He has a damp Jheri curl (damp because it’s always two drips short of being dehydrated), repeatedly wears suits tailor-made by Steve Harvey and rides around in a 1999 Cadillac DeVille bumping swingout music like “Hell naw to the naw naw naw.” Other accessories include a cowboy hat and some snakeskin gators. (Don’t ask.) He’s also a staple within the community. He’s the bishop, the mortician, the recreation-center coordinator and the lead city council member. For real, for real, he’s the legal connect.
Donna Mae, Lisa Mae, Anna Mae, Sallie Mae. If you know anybody named Mae, you’re probably country as hell. Matter of fact, I know about four or five people with the word “Mae” in their names. I guess that makes me chitlin-juice country. Anna Mae—June Bug and nem’s mama—is often the matriarch of the family. She’s a God-fearing woman with much clout within the community. And because she’s so popular in the community, she knows everybody’s business. That doesn’t mean she’ll tell you, though. You have to catch her slippin’. Get her while she’s upset. For instance, she just burned her pot of greens. This is a fine time to ask her about Niecy. “Ain’t nobody stutin’ that nasty heifer. Then went and got the itch from sleeping with D’Brickashaw.” Yes, Anna Mae—the epitome of being country.
Cypress Moss is what peak negritude looks like. His favorite pastimes include moaning in the key of Aretha during Mufasa’s assassination in The Lion King and wearing a white fedora in the Southern heat. You can catch him writing at the Raw Suga when the spirit moves him.