Racial Slurs

The Word Nigger by Fatiha Malik

The word nigger can be traced to the Latin word niger, meaning black. Historically negro has been a word used in the Spanish and Portuguese language to describe the color black. It is only when the French staked their claim on the word in the 1800’s and began using the word as a derogatory, and contemptuous term towards African Americans, it became a negative connotation.

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Because African Americans have been oppressed by this word for 200+ years, it ‘s been engrained in our vocabulary it seems, not only do we often use it as a term of endearment for our family and friends but we also use it to degrade one another just as our oppressor has done unto us. And the sad part is, half the time we’re not even conscious of the negative energy connected it.

I believe you give words power and nigger/nigga is no exception. If someone refers to you as such, you can only be offended if you believe that to be true. Those who say it in an effort to get a reaction out of others is in essence no better than someone who uses it as a term of endearment.

It is only when one elevates themselves to a point where they completely eliminate the word from their vocabulary, that we as a whole can overcome the damage that this word had caused from generation to generation.

Most recently I have seen a shift in the way we address one another by using terms such as “bro” “beloved” “king” “Queen” and it does speak to us becoming more conscious of self. We still have a long way to go but we are making progress because when u know better, you do better.

 

About Fatiha

Freelance Writer and lifestyle blogger. Fatiha is a native New Yorker but has lived in NC for 6 years. She loves being a mom, writing, crafting, and traveling. Follow her on Twitter @Destinys_Callin and IG at Halfwoman_Halfamayzin

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