Negro, Nigger, Nigga, Niggaz, Colored, African-American, Blacks… Who created these terms? Should we use them? Do people use them? In what situations?
Today, we’ll look at the word “Nigger” or “Nigga”. These words are also known as the “N-word” and are usually not spoken by journalists, teachers, or others who considered them very polemic and/or offensive and/or derogatory. Well, there is a big discussion going on in the United States and I would like to share it with y’all. Some people might say it is okay to use them, whereas others will say we should get rid of it.
To start us off, I would like to share this interesting video with y’all:
Some people also will say that “nigger” and “nigga” are different words and they carry different meanings. I have heard that some people would consider “nigger” to be a more offensive word than “nigga”, which I personally think it has nothing to do with how you pronounce the “er” at the end. Would British people sound okay, since they drop the “r” at the end of words?
This guy is in charge of pranks and he has decided to come up with the “N-Word” prank. Watch how people react. Well, I would recommend you not to use this word whatsoever. Take a peep!
Well, if I may, the point I am trying to get across with is that intentions and intonation and contexts speak louder than pronunciation or spelling themselves. The focus on this post is not to expose people, it is to exploit the word in vogue. Please, don’t get me wrong! This following video might shock you and will surely help you understand my point. See it for yourself:
Historically, the N-word was a derogatory term used to insult Africans who were brought to the U.S. in Slave Ships to be sold as slaves. If you use it today, you are likely to be called a racist. However, the word is commonly used amongst black people in the U.S. but it is definitely not used but all black people. Some will not use it and will look at it as a really negative word. On this next video, you will see a teacher who called a student “nigga” and he tries to explain himself. Was he being a racist or that’s just cool and acceptable? Is it okay for African Americans to use it but others shouldn’t and couldn’t say it? You are to decide!
This case above has been on TV and on the spotlight for quite a while that it was even shown and “made fun of” in the cartoon The Boondocks. You can watch it on this video below:
This discussion, as I said up above, is still going on and I don’t see the end of that. Some people will say it is okay to use it, some others won’t like it. And, also I mentioned that not all black people use it or like it. On this following video, you will see a passage of the movie Coach Carter with Samuel L. Jackson. You will see students using the word “nigga” and not trying to offend one another, however, I don’t think Coach Carter likes that word very much!
Watch it, and see it for yourself:
But he does not stop right there, once the “N-word” is used again, he snaps:
And apparently it is not only Coach Carter that does not like the “N-word”, Samuel L. Jackson doesn’t like it either. Look at what he did to the interviewer.
All this interesting discussion has, of course, affected the industry and the word has been used all the way around by kids, teenagers, and adults and many different contexts. It is common to hear the “N-word” in RAP and Hip-Hop songs as well as in movies and stand-up comedy shows. But before we go there, I would like to share with you this conversation with scholars and it is interesting. Do you think Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King, Jr. would ever use that word?
Well, let’s see how it is today! How would you look at this song? Some will say this is racist, some others will say it is funny. What about you? What do you think about it?
This is Eddie Griffin. He is one of my favorite comedians of all time. On this video below, he will show you what this is about when it comes to be the “N-word” . See it for yourself and decide whether or not your should laugh!
Wow, now you know how polemic this word can be, huh! Well, I am not the one to say whether or not you should use that word. I personally use it among my friends, but I avoid it when I am around people who don’t like it! So to finish us off, if you got up to here, you deserve to watch this amazing man performing his poetry on Def Poetry by Julian Curry called Niggers Niggas & Niggaz. You can watch the video below and follow the lyrics as well:
Niggers Niggas & Niggaz
Whassup my niggas, I said whassup my niggas?
That was a trick question
And its nice to see that the tricky ones haven’t tricked most of you all into the answer
You see nigger’s been passed through our families, generation to generation like a cancer.
It used to be said by slave masters who weren’t in the business of breeding no Dancing Niggers
They only wanted good old field Niggers.
But I wonder how the field Nigger would feel
If he was seated next to you on the A train at approximately 3 o’clock any day of the week
And he heard his little great great grandson speak dozens if not hundreds of
Times from 59th street to West forth
The word that made black families pack up in the South and move North.
Would he slam a couple of these boys against the doors and ask,
What’s the deal Nigger? Do you think you keeping it real Nigger?
Do you know how I was killed Nigger? They murdered me, with hot rods of steel Nigger.
Now how do you think this makes me feel Nigger?
Or would he just sit there and listen
Silently like white people do /
Silently like I do
Silently like we all do.
So what do I do?
I go down to Wall Street. Do you know why they call it Wall Street?
Because centuries ago there were these huge high walls and down on the street
Slaves with shackles on their feet
Were there to be bought and sold by the fleet. Like shares of Intel
Phrases shouted daily like:
Where’s my niggers? There’s my niggers. Whose niggers are those?
Now here we are centuries after slavery
Insulting our Ancestors bravery by shouting phrases daily like:
Where’s my Nigger?
You know you my Nigger, right?
So, don’t blame the boys on the A-Train.
Blame who put the myth it was okay to say it in their brain.
Blame the kings of Comedy, the all time Nigger record holders.
Put the blame on Quentin Tarantino’s shoulders.
And hopefully this Nigger, Nigga, Nigga poem is making you uncomfortable.
To the point where you’re cracking your neck and staring down at the ground.
Looking to your left and your right, staring at the few white people around.
Helping you realize that you’ve been bamboozled if you think you have to wear
Black-face to be a clown.
But I gotta go now, I gotta go now, I gotta go now.
I gotta get this poem in the hands of the artist formerly known as Prince now
Because when it comes to talent, ain’t nobody’s bigger.
And maybe this poem can be the gun and his voice could be the trigger.
We could collaborate and figure a way to convince Jigga
To help us write a new dream song or a new theme song and call it the people
Formerly known as Niggers.
Wow, you came a long way. This post has been one of the most difficult and interesting of this website. I have had to check out a lot of materials and select the best, in my view, to share with y’all. Hope this has clarified something about the usage of the “N-word” for come or “Nigga” for others.
This material has been selected, adapted, analyzed, and put together by Rodrigo P. Honorato
6 thoughts on “Have you ever heard of the N-word?”
Excellent post! Congratulations!
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Thank you for the support, Carina. I am glad you’ve come around to check it out!
Dc Talk band sing the track Colored People. It´s a beautifull song.
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