||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2011)|
|Birth name||Felicia Pearson|
May 18, 1980 |
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
|Occupation(s)||Actress, author, hip hop artist|
Felicia Pearson (born May 18, 1980) is an American actress, author, and rapper. She is best known for playing a character of the same name, Felicia "Snoop" Pearson, on The Wire. She wrote a memoir titled Grace After Midnight detailing her troubled childhood and time spent in prison for second-degree murder.
Pearson was born in Baltimore, Maryland, to two incarcerated drug addicts, and was raised in an East Baltimore foster home. Born a premature crack baby and weighing only three pounds, she was not expected to live. She was so small she was fed with an eyedropper until she could be fed normally. According to her memoir, Grace After Midnight, she met her biological parents very few times; her mother was a crack addict and her father a stick-up man. She thus decided to go by her foster family's surname. She was a tomboy from a young age.
Instead of attending school, Pearson worked as a drug dealer. At the age of 14, she was convicted of second-degree murder in the shooting death of a girl named Okia Toomer and sentenced to two eight-year terms, to be served consecutively, at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women in Jessup, Maryland. She was released after 6.5 years.
Pearson said her life turned around at the age of 18 when Arnold Loney, a local drug dealer who looked out for her and sent her money in prison, was shot and killed. He was the one who gave her the nickname Snoop because she reminded him of Charlie Brown's beagle Snoopy in the comic strip Peanuts. While in prison, she earned her GED and was released in 2000. She landed a local job fabricating car bumpers, but was fired after only two weeks when her employer learned she had a prison record.
On March 10, 2011, Pearson was arrested along with 60 others for alleged drug offenses. The arrest was made during a predawn raid at her home in Baltimore following a five-month DEA operation. Denying bail, Judge John Addison Howard reasoned: “Well, you can change your appearance, I’ve seen the episodes of The Wire in which you appear. You look very different than you do here today, and I’m not talking about the jumpsuit, I’m talking about your general appearance.” After a month in jail, Pearson was offered bail of $50,000 on April 8, 2011. In August 2011, she pleaded guilty to the charges a day before her trial was to begin. She was sentenced to a suspended seven-year prison term, with credit for time served, and given three years of supervised probation.
Pearson met Michael K. Williams, who played Omar Little on The Wire, in a Baltimore club. He invited her to come to the set one day. He introduced her to the writers and the producers, and after a subsequent audition, she was offered a role in the series. She has appeared in videos of R&B singer Lil' Mo's "Dem Boyz," rapper Rick Ross' "The Boss," "Here I Am," as well as "Cash Flow" by rapper Ace Hood and "Shabba (feat ASAP Rocky)" by A$AP Ferg.
Pearson was featured in the song "It's a Stick Up" with Tony Yayo and Mazaradi Fox. The music video for the song featured clips from The Wire. She has also discussed her plans for forthcoming musical projects in a number of interviews.
Pearson founded a youth drama organization named Moving Mountains with her former Wire co-star Jamie Hector (Marlo Stanfield). She says the aim of Moving Mountains is to stop youth violence, teach performing arts and help kids who really want to get off the streets and stay out of trouble. Pearson has also volunteered as a prison visitor and worked on anti-violence and literary campaigns for youths, and supported The Stay Strong Foundation.
- McCauley, Mary Carol (March 11, 2011). "Legal troubles nothing new for 'Wire' actress". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 11, 2011.
- Jaye Hunnie (2008-01-02). "Felicia's Journey". Baltimore City Paper. Retrieved 2009-05-12.
- Fenton, Justin. More than 60 people, including 'Snoop' of 'The Wire,' arrested in drug raids. The Baltimore Sun. March 10, 2011. Retrieved 2011-3-11.
- Peter Hermann (2011-03-11). "The Wire's Snoop spars with judge, gets no bail". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2011-03-14.
- "Snoop freed from city jail". Weblogs.baltimoresun.com. 2011-04-08. Retrieved 2013-03-22.
- Lee, Felicia (2011-08-09). "‘Wire’ Actress, Caught on Wiretap, Pleads Guilty to Heroin Charge". NYTimes Arts Blog. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
- Associated Press, "'Wire' actress Pearson pleads guilty in drug case", Japan Times, August 10, 2011, p. 6.
- "Felicia "Snoop" Pearson Intv". YouTube.com. 2009-07-22. Retrieved 2014-06-29.
- "Felicia "Snoop" Pearson On Her Type Of Woman". YouTube.com. 2009-08-10. Retrieved 2014-06-29.
- Teresa Wiltz (2007-03-19). "The Role of Her Life". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-04-12.
- "Inspiring People Snoop Pearson".
- "Felicia "Snoop" Pearson is Black, Female, and Out in Hollywood". Jasmynecannick.typepad.com. 2008-02-25. Retrieved 2014-06-29.
- All Hip Hop News. "The Wire Week: Felicia Pearson (Snoop)", AllHipHop.com. Retrieved August 16, 2007.