Namond Brice

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Namond Brice
The Wire Namond.jpg
First appearance "Boys of Summer" (episode 4.01)
Last appearance "Late Editions" (episode 5.09)
Created by David Simon
Portrayed by Julito McCullum
Information
Aliases "Nay"
Gender Male
Occupation Student
Former drug dealer
Family Wee-Bey Brice (father)
De'Londa Brice (mother)
Howard "Bunny" Colvin (legal guardian)
Lolita Colvin (legal guardian)

Namond Brice (/ˈnmənd/ NAY-mənd) is a fictional character on the HBO drama The Wire, played by Julito McCullum. Namond is the son of Wee-Bey Brice and De'Londa Brice and is a middle school student during season 4.[1] He is friends with Michael Lee and Randy Wagstaff and often bullies Duquan "Dukie" Weems. Namond lives with his mother and the two are well looked after by money from the Barksdale drug dealing organization that his father was a part of. Wee-Bey is serving consecutive life sentences for multiple homicides committed on behalf of the Barksdales, having even confessed to crimes he did not commit. Grateful because Wee-Bey shielded the rest of the organization by taking the prison sentence on himself, the Barksdales provide for Namond and De'Londa. Even after the organization is shattered by the incarceration of Avon Barksdale, his sister Brianna Barksdale continues to pay them. This steady income means that Namond is much better off than his peers.

Character storyline[edit]

Season 4[edit]

Namond often accompanies Michael to a community gym run by Dennis "Cutty" Wise but does not usually box himself. Namond works for onetime Barksdale lieutenant Bodie Broadus as a drug runner. Bodie gave Namond the job out of respect for Wee-Bey who he worked with before his arrest and is careful to remind Namond of this fact. He is clearly not interested in this line of work and often reads while working and is seen leaving early to catch pigeons with his friends. He becomes impatient with Randy while waiting to catch a potential homing pigeon but is quieted when Michael tells him his voice may be scaring away the birds. Namond is enraged when Dukie scares the birds away by smashing a bottle nearby. He taunts Dukie until he attacks him and Michael breaks up the fight.

When Dukie is beaten up by a rival gang Namond expresses a desire for revenge. He suggests using guns but Randy has the idea of an ambush using water balloons filled with urine. The plan backfires on Namond who bursts his balloon on himself. The terrace boys chase after Namond and his friends. While Michael is caught and receives a beating, Namond hides nearby and watches. Namond later buys ice cream for all of his friends, even including Dukie at Michael's urging.

Namond and De'Londa visit Wee-Bey regularly at the prison. Wee-Bey relies on them to take care of his beloved pet fish and Namond follows his father's instructions. Wee-Bey is glad that Namond is working with Bodie and gives him advice on succeeding as a drug dealer including getting a less distinctive haircut. De'Londa is unimpressed with Namond's attitude towards his work and threatens to withhold money for new clothes until he applies himself. Namond swaps the job with Michael so that his friend can make money for a time, irritating Bodie who points out that his corner is not "social services". Despite her threats and Namond giving up his job De'Londa buys him new clothes for school.

When school begins, Namond proves to be disruptive in class and to have a general disregard for school rules. He quickly runs afoul of Assistant Principal Marcia Donnelly for wearing non-uniform clothing. He is in Roland "Prez" Pryzbylewski's math class along with Michael, Dukie and his friend Kareem Williams. Also in the class are Chiquan, Laetitia and Zenobia. Namond often disrupts the class and eventually gets suspended for three days because of his actions. He apologizes to Prez of his own volition afterwards. Namond keeps a knife hidden in a bush at school, but this is confiscated by Donnelly on a random sweep.

De'Londa takes Namond to visit his father during his suspension. Wee-Bey continues to take more interest in the street than Namond's school. While he admires Namond's attitude, Wee-Bey cautions his son on the increasingly savage and two-faced nature of the drug trade as symbolized by Marlo Stanfield's organization.

Namond and De'Londa suffer a major change in circumstances when Brianna decides to cut them off. De'Londa is outraged but powerless to argue. Brianna tells Namond that she wanted them both to be there so that De’Londa could not lie to him about what happened.

De'Londa sets Namond up dealing narcotics to support them. She still refuses to let him drop out of school. She insists that she will convince Bodie to give him a package. Namond asks about what Brianna meant about them already having enough money and De'Londa tells him that Brianna was lying. She visits Bodie and convinces him to give Namond a package to work, threatening to tell Wee-Bey with the suggestion that he might arrange something unpleasant for Bodie if he refuses.

When Namond returns to school he is placed in a special class under Howard "Bunny" Colvin. He acts out to try to get out early to begin selling his package but learns that in his new class there will be no further suspensions. He also is unable to faze Colvin as Colvin is a former Western district police commander who has himself grown up in West Baltimore. Because of this, Colvin is not as scared as the academic types in the classroom as he has dealt with many people much worse than Namond during his 30 year tenure with the Baltimore Police Department. Namond recruits Donut, Little Kenard and Byron to help him move the package he has been given. Despite his best efforts he cannot convince Michael to get involved. Namond is driven away from his first choice of territory by a rival crew. Another young dealer called Sherrod attacks him as he leaves Cutty's gym to warn him off. Cutty breaks up the fight rescuing Namond from a beating. His young dealers are not impressed with his second choice of territory and their trade slows down.

Namond begins to enjoy the Special Class when the teacher gives him a chance to talk about his ambitions and his views on what makes a successful "corner boy." Namond says he believes that he will be dead in ten years time but still claims to have the ambition of becoming a kingpin in the drug trade. He also reveals something of a motive for his disruptive behaviour when he tells the class that he does not believe he should obey the rules when there are so many examples of others profiting from wrongdoing - he states steroids, liquor, cigarettes and Enron as examples.

Namond's shrewd descriptions of life on the corner in the classroom do not translate into success in his business. He fails to move the package as fast as his mother is expecting and upsets her by transferring the narcotics into vials in their home. She tells him to recruit a lieutenant to handle that aspect of the business and visits Bodie once more to demand better territory for Namond. Namond makes Kenard his lieutenant and entrusts him with the package. Namond seems to not have inherited his father's stomach for the violence inherent in drug dealing. Namond talks and acts tough around his friends to enhance his corner boy image, but they all eventually see through his charade. This reaches a pivotal point when, after Kenard steals Namond's package, Namond berates Dukie verbally, resulting in Michael, already growing into a ruthless hitter under Chris' tutelage, slapping Namond three times and pushing him into a wall. Namond breaks down in tears, saying his friend "ain't Mike" any more and as Sergeant Ellis Carver tries to explain the situation over the phone to his mother, she assumes the police are calling about a charge and instructs him to throw him into "baby booking" to teach him a lesson, hanging up before Carver can explain that Namond has done nothing wrong. De'londa then throws Namond out and thus gains the attention of Howard Colvin.

Colvin then talks Wee-Bey into letting him adopt Namond so he can have a better chance of life than out there on the streets. Namond's father agrees and tells De'Londa to give up the boy even though she still wants him to become a drug dealer. She is given no choice but to give in, as everything good she has is due to Wee-Bey's place in the Barksdale organization—and Wee-Bey makes it clear she will be cut off if she doesn't get out of the way. Colvin and his wife Lolita ultimately become Namond's legal guardians.[2] Namond's fate parallels that of D'Angelo Barksdale, in that both have domineering mothers who force their sons into the drug game. Namond, however, avoids D'Angelo's end by being adopted by Colvin.

Season 5[edit]

A year later, Namond is excelling academically, participating in a citywide school debate, as the Colvins look on with pride. He has apparently escaped the dangerous streets of West Baltimore, unlike Michael, Duquan and Randy.

Critical response[edit]

Entertainment Weekly named Namond one of the five most interesting characters in season four.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Back To School The Wire's Fourth Season Is For the Children". Baltimore City Paper. 2006. Retrieved 2006-08-30. [dead link]
  2. ^ "Character profile - Namond Brice". HBO. 2004. Retrieved 2006-09-16. 
  3. ^ Neil Drumming (2006-09-15). "High Wire Act". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2006-09-27.