Social Issues

How It Feels To Be a “Maryland N*gga”

Hello everybody.

I’m a Maryland nigga.

I was born in Southern Maryland Hospital and raised by my parents in Clinton, which is located in Southern Prince George’s County. So why am I starting this article like this? Honestly, I have no clue. I guess it’s just the “Maryland” in me. People always speak about the divide between the DMV (DC, Maryland and Virginia), a term that I absolutely hate, and Baltimore.

Yet, there is another divide that has been around since I can remember.

That divide is between DC and Maryland in general. Particularly inner city Washington DC and its surrounding predominately African-American suburbs in Prince George’s County.

Now, a quick back drop about me. I never really stepped foot into DC until I got to high school. I was in private school in Clinton from pre-school all the way through middle school. So you could say I was green, but hell, I was just a damn kid. That all changed on the first day I stepped foot into a Catholic High School in DC. That was the first time I heard the term, “Maryland Nigga”. I’m like…O…..K…..So I’m from Maryland, what’s that supposed mean?

I thought long and hard about it. I’m really no different from anyone else. We are all black and we are here to get an education. Not to mention the fact that a private Catholic school does cost money to attend. So they can’t be trying to imply that my family is rich or some shit. Maybe it’s the way that I spoke? I was and still am very proper when I speak. It can’t be that, I’m not speaking a foreign language, I just don’t use slang for every other word that comes out my mouth. I was just thoroughly confused, so I just chalked it up to me just being a guy that lives in Maryland.

I used to hear, “You probably live in a big house and probably have both your parents”. Well, I’m sorry, I didn’t choose this life. I was born into it. I have both of my parents that I lived with, as do all of my friends that live in my neighborhood. Is that not normal? Where I am from, it was, but for a lot of folks it wasn’t. I considered myself lucky to have had the upbringing that I had. It has made me who I am. I even asked my parents when I was younger, did they understand what this term meant. All they would say is, “just be who you are, people can either like you or not and if they hold where you are from against you, you don’t need them”.

Yet, it still bothered me.

I used to think that it had to be jealousy, maybe they wish they were from where I was from. I never faked like I was “hard” or from the streets or one those dudes that supposedly was born in SE or Uptown and moved out to MD. I was just me. After a while, I just ignored it, because quiet as kept, things aren’t always what they seem.

Then I thought that I finally figured it out, I thought that it boiled down to the “struggle”. You know, struggle doesn’t exist in MD right?

Bad things don’t happen to people in the suburbs, only in the city.

And that’s what gives you character, right?

Makes you who you are, right?

But all Maryland niggaz are spoiled brats who were born with a silver spoon in their mouth, right?

Maybe I’m looking too deep into it or maybe it’s the just the “Murrlyn” in me. I could ramble on forever about this, but I’m not. I’m just going to say that I’m from Maryland and damn proud. If someone could explain to me what being a Maryland nigga is besides just being from Maryland, please enlighten me.

It’s an answer that has eluded me for far too long.

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