It’s called copula deletion, or zero copula. Many languages and dialects, including Ancient Greek and Russian, delete the copula (the verb to be) when the context is obvious.
So an utterance like “you a bitch” in AAVE is not an example of a misused you, but an example of a sentence that deletes the copular verb (are), which is a perfectly valid thing to do in that dialect, just as deleting an /r/ after a vowel is a perfectly valid thing to do in an upper-class British dialect.
What’s more, it’s been shown that copula deletion occurs in AAVE exactly in those contexts where copula contraction occurs in so-called “Standard American English.” That is, the basic sentence “You are great” can become “You’re great” in SAE and “You great” in AAVE, but “I know who you are” cannot become “I know who you’re” in SAE, and according to reports, neither can you get “I know who you” in AAVE.
In other words, AAVE is a set of grammatical rules just as complex and systematic as SAE, and the widespread belief that it is not is nothing more than yet another manifestation of deeply internalized racism.
❝ Yesterday, I spent 60 dollars on groceries,
took the bus home,
carried both bags with two good arms back to my studio apartment
and cooked myself dinner.
You and I may have different definitions of a good day.
This week, I paid my rent and my credit card bill,
worked 60 hours between my two jobs,
only saw the sun on my cigarette breaks
and slept like a rock.
Flossed in the morning,
locked my door,
and remembered to buy eggs.
My mother is proud of me.
It is not the kind of pride she brags about at the golf course.
She doesn’t combat topics like, ”My daughter got into Yale”
with, “Oh yeah, my daughter remembered to buy eggs”
But she is proud.
See, she remembers what came before this.
The weeks where I forgot how to use my muscles,
how I would stay as silent as a thick fog for weeks.
She thought each phone call from an unknown number was the notice of my suicide.
These were the bad days.
My life was a gift that I wanted to return.
My head was a house of leaking faucets and burnt-out lightbulbs.
Depression, is a good lover.
So attentive; has this innate way of making everything about you.
And it is easy to forget that your bedroom is not the world,
That the dark shadows your pain casts is not mood-lighting.
It is easier to stay in this abusive relationship than fix the problems it has created.
Today, I slept in until 10,
cleaned every dish I own,
fought with the bank,
took care of paperwork.
You and I might have different definitions of adulthood.
I don’t work for salary, I didn’t graduate from college,
but I don’t speak for others anymore,
and I don’t regret anything I can’t genuinely apologize for.
And my mother is proud of me.
I burned down a house of depression,
I painted over murals of greyscale,
and it was hard to rewrite my life into one I wanted to live
But today, I want to live.
I didn’t salivate over sharp knives,
or envy the boy who tossed himself off the Brooklyn bridge.
I just cleaned my bathroom,
did the laundry,
called my brother.
Told him, “it was a good day. ❞ —Kait Rokowski (A Good Day)