I just finished watching a documentary on the subject. You know what it is, that word, the one you can say in your own personal circle of friends, but when someone outside says it, somebody gets knocked the fukk out.
The documentary The "N" Word was written and directed by Todd Williams, and I think is important for people to watch. It reminds me a lot of Bowling for Columbine and the t.v. show Black/White. It just gives people the opportunity to think about things and see how other people view things. (You know, real conscious-type movies and thoughts.)
Commentary was taken from random people off the street in different parts of the country and also well-known industry people (just to name a few: Ving Rhames, Talib Kweli, Samuel L. Jackson, Nia Long, Michael Rappaport, Chuck D., John Singleton, Quincy Jones, Russell Simmons, George Carlin, Whoopi Goldberg).
Anyway, I'ma take ya'll to school for a minute with this one real quick.
Chapter 1 (My first Nigger)
Commentary on the first time people heard the word. (Personally I can't remember my own experience)
Chapter 2 (Neger, Niger, Nigger)
The speculation of the etymology of the word.... Did it come from another language? Of Niger, Africa?
Chapter 3 (The Politics of Nigger)
Who "should" and who "shouldn't" say it, and what it means. What it used to mean, what it could mean.
Chapter 4 (Nigger, Colored, Negro, Black)
The evolution of what we call ourselves over time. And the connotation the words sometimes have. (I prefer to be called just plain "Black" myself. My ancestors may be from Africa, but I'm not, so I wouldn't consider myself African-American. My father is 100% Costa Rican, but I don't say I'm Hispanic, though I guess I could.)
Chapter 5 (That Nigger's Crazy)
There were three men named in this section (Mark Twain, Lenny Bruce, and Richard Pryor). Most of us are probably most familiar with the work of Pryor. According to most of the commentators, he took the word that most people viewed as disrespectful and rude and flipped the script.
Chapter 6 (Rap on Niggers)
The never-ending battle of rappers using the word.
Chapter 7 (Niggers vs Niggaz)
Another never-ending saga. -er makes it negative, while -az makes it..... Well, what is your interpretation?
Chapter 8 (Birth of "The N Word")
The word nigger is still "taboo" though, probably most of us use it in everyday conversation. So now, in order to be "politically correct" we censor ourselves (on the news, tv programs, radio, etc) and maybe just say "The N-word".
I hope I didn't bore you with this one people, but rarely do I feel the need to get on a soapbox and politic. I usually don't discuss religion or politics; I feel it only leads to trouble. However, this particular topic is close to me for obvious reasons.
It's funny because I use the word all the time, I got white friends that will always be my "niggas", no matter what. But even though I love them to death, if they said the same to me, I probably would think about it for a HOT second and be like
But I know they don't mean anything deragatory by it..... So why should I feel that way? At the same time, I get a little twisty feeling inside and then it passes as quickly as it comes. This even comes from hearing my Puerto Rican friends say it.... It's just something. Like nobody should feel comfortable saying that shyt to another person, except another Black person, period.
I'm not saying any of my views are right, but that's what makes them my opinion. I'm grateful for books, movies, shows, etc., like this one that made me think a little more.
*please note : this blog was written in 2006. My thoughts and/or feelings regarding certain aspects of this may have changed.