Official Rules and Revisions for the 2022 Cookout Season

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Among Black Americans, those with at least two family reunion T-shirts wondered if this Memorial Day would mark the official start of picnic season. Although both the 2020 and 2021 picnic seasons have been canceled due to COVID restrictions, we know that picnic season officially begins on Memorial Day and continues until the end of the last HBCU Homecoming game.

For more than 400 years, the Black American Legislative Culinary Council (BLACC) has met in a secret location for grill masters, deviled egg makers and Kool-Aid chemists to evaluate the latest developments in the culinary world. We sent reporters to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial*, where BLACC recently held its annual opening press conference announcing the rules for the 2022 picnic season.

(*Not the Lincoln Memorial. This was held on the steps of the home of Bessie and Jerome Lincoln, the couple who still hold the record for most picnics without running out of foil during the 1983-2001 race. )

As usual, these guidelines were voted on by a panel of experts and included:

  • Roger “Joker Bearer” Muhammad: The only person in America who has played over 500 games of spades without ever being set.
  • Alicia Green: Youngest woman to be recognized by Aunties, Uncles and Neighbors Trusted Dietetics (AUNTIES).
  • Joyce Shirley Jenkins: Board Certified Candy Lady for over 30 years.
  • James “Clyde” Green: He’s Alicia’s partner, so they let him vote.
  • your grandma: your grandma.

Below is a summary of the main decisions:


The first announcement answers the year’s most pressing question: Will Juneteenth be the first federal holiday to be added to the list of High St. Cookout Days since Howard’s return?

In a surprising decision, the executive committee brought up the discussion. Since Juneteenth is also Father’s Day weekend this year, a planning committee will look at the issue and decide if they should ask dads to share their recognition day. Black fathers were ready to forgo Father’s Day until they realized it meant they had to mow the lawn, prepare barbecue sauce and work on the grill on Juneteenth, according to the minutes of the last meeting. How do they honor ancestors by working for free on their days off?

The decision was submitted until June 2024 on Tuesday.

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Covid rules

While the picnics are taking place outdoors, the BLACC acknowledges that Black Americans have been hit hard by the coronavirus and has introduced new COVID restrictions to mitigate the dangers, including:

  1. Board Wire Protocol: While the order of service rule has been in place for over 100 years, they will strictly enforce the order of service: first, elders, then pastors, deacons, and saints of God, then shade mechanics/candy ladies, and finally, nieces and nephews.
  2. share: No sharing of cups, plates or cutlery is allowed, regardless of family relationship. Except for brown wine. (Uncle June Bug says brown wine kills bacteria.)
  3. Rag Safety: All jerseys must be securely tucked in the back pocket. Any jersey found on the table will be discarded immediately. Barbecue masters always have the right to drape jersey over their shoulders.
  4. Two macaroni: To maintain social distancing, two separate but equal plates of macaroni and cheese should always be served at the same time.
  5. Gameplay: All Spades, Dominoes and Uno tables must be large enough to allow for social distancing. Sadly, they have to ban big harlequins on their foreheads.


The committee voted to extend the ban on whites. As the press release put it, they promised to hold another vote when “white people start acting as if they have some meaning.”

They will revisit this issue in 2122.

Others banned from 2022 picnic season:

  • Paula Patton
  • Anyone trying to “do too much” with their potato salad recipe
  • Candace Owens (will also revisit in 2032.)
  • Anyone who thinks a vaccine will expand their testicles, contain tracking devices, or give them 5G cellular service
  • who wrote the last episode Atlanta
  • empty handed man

Other announcements

  • BLACC is committed to trialling and adding plant-based meats to its official menu in 2022. They were tired of that “nasty” cousin who wanted everyone to know they stopped eating meat and asked, “Are there any veggie burgers?”
  • While the Beyoncé remake is optional, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly’s “Before I Let Go” will remain on the official picnic playlist.
  • Due to higher gas prices, the number of people asked to bring ice will double this season to prevent anyone from having to run to the store.
  • Unless the host has an official rating statement, it’s Joker, Joker, Ace.
  • Although BLACC does not condone body shaming, all hoochie dads are required to sit in folding chairs to ensure their “stuff” doesn’t pop out of their shorts.
  • We will observe a moment of silence at the Oscars for those affected by recent violence.
  • To prevent muscle and spine injuries, we ask all seniors to stretch before performing any TikTok dance with younger family members.
  • While many states have legalized marijuana since last cookout season, designated smoking areas are still “out there.” But if your picnic is in a state where marijuana is legal, feel free to roll up at the domino table.
  • You can put a tie two on a tie two.

A short introduction to Juneteenth ice cream

In a separate statement, BLACC condemned all companies for profiteering during Juneteenth. They point out that they always have to hear how white people love MLK every January and drink water every February from a fast food cup with a black fist. While they don’t specifically mention Walmart, the final prayer includes a special request for Jesus to check on anyone who eats great-value ice cream.

The Black Legislative American Cookout Committee was formed in Virginia in 1619, when Charles James sat hungry by the fire, heard the sound of a rooster crow, looked at his family boy and said, “Are you thinking what I am thinking?”

Happy cookout season.

Michael Harriot

Michael Harriot is a writer, cultural critic and champion player of spades. His book, Black AF History: The Unwhitewashed American Story, will be published in 2022.

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