Snoop from "The Wire" visited the Margaret Mitchell House in Atlanta last week. Fortunately, Frogtown correspondent Markie Post (aka Candice Dyer) was there:
It was one of those Old South/New South moments that characterize Atlanta.
"This is not our usual crowd," observed one of the bemused Margaret Mitchell House volunteers, as she surveyed the clusters of ghettofabulous young black men and women, corruscated with bling and fringed with hair extensions. The MM House has a core of genteel, "Old Atlanta" bluehairs who show up for every event in honor of "Peggy," and even when prominent African-American authors read, the audience consists mostly of earnest white liberals like me.
Tonight’s crunk crowd had turned out for Felicia "Snoop" Pearson, who was promoting her memoir, "Grace After Midnight." Coincidentally, its opening sentence is very similar to that of James Brown’s autobiography. Both were, for all practical purposes, "born dead," but neither ever asked for pity.
Snoop, a crack baby who weighed in at three pounds at birth, served time for murder before landing her role on "The Wire" as a stealthy, brutal, and butch gangbanger. (Pearson’s refreshingly unapologetic lesbianism is one of the most indelible — and intimidating — arguments for the "they’re born that way" thesis that I’ve ever encountered.) The emcee who introduced her at the Mitchell House pointed out, "Our guest has never read ‘Gone With the Wind,’ but she has gotten an education tonight on our tour." Knowing snickers all around. Snoop then fielded questions, including, "Yo, you still slingin’?" Not a query that has, so far, confronted Pat Conroy at this venue.
When I approached her for an autograph (to be inscribed next to the Margaret Mitchell imprimatur), I wrote on the Post-It note, "Your biggest redneck cracker fan." This amused Snoop, and she inscribed it as such. I told her it would "help my street cred in Appalachia." Her handler grimaced and said, "Lord, chile, you serious?" Then I told Snoop to keep up the good work. She looked up at me with those beagle-like eyes and said, "Say a prayer for me." And I did.
Peace out, Snoop.