Racial Slurs

The Word Nigger by L.

The word “Nigger” has been a controversial topic in America for over 100(+) years. Many frown upon the use of the word being that is was used as a term of degradation and hate during slavery and the Jim Crow era. People often question why the black community uses it so loosely or as a word of “endearment” when it was used in such a disrespectful manner towards us in the past? I understand why some people would see this as questionable.

 

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I personally think that being Black in America and looked down upon as a whole throughout American history has taught us to adapt to horrific situations and find the positive in every negative situation in order to survive and persevere. Though it’s not considered politically correct, people in the black community do use the term “Nigga” to refer to their friends, brothers, or peers in a non-negative way.

The reason that there is a problem when a Caucasian person calls a black person a “Nigger” is because of the negative connotation that they associated with the word when using it towards black people throughout the years historically.

We were never using it in that way towards ourselves. The difference is people in the black community will refer to anyone as a “Nigga” no matter what race they are, it’s more so based on their relationship or conversation with that person vs. race, unlike our Caucasian counterparts who intentionally use it maliciously towards one group of people. This doesn’t make it right it’s just all about perspective.

There’s also the Ethiopian word Negus, which is pronounced like “niggas” meaning “King of kings” also referring to brethren of the land, first known use was in 1592, according to Merriam-Webster. How do we know that the White slave-owners didn’t know this meaning of the word and twist it to make it into something negative, and give us a distorted view of it’s true meaning? Will we ever know?

Moral of the story, I think that we as African American’s have been thrown so many lemons during the course of American history, that we have learned to make lemonade instead being sour about it. I don’t personally condone the use of the word, and I don’t think our ancestors would be too happy about how the use of the word has evolved or is being used, but I do understand the different perspectives on the topic.

 

About LaShunda

LaShunda (L.) Newton is a multi-passionate author born in Atlanta, GA on July 22, 1987. She is the mother of two sons Shannon and Cameron. L. is a future educator majoring in Secondary education at Atlanta Metropolitan State College. She recognized her love for words at young age as she kept a personal journey throughout her childhood into adulthood.

She began writing poetry as a hobby in high school, deeply inspired by her favorite poet Dr. Maya Angelou. L. published her debut book Poetique Soul in March 2014. L. aspires to become a national best-selling author and hit songwriter within the near future. She hopes that her work will have the power to uplift, enlighten, and inspire every reader that has the opportunity to encounter it.

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