The Word Nigger

Amazing Essays
The n-word is used loosely nowadays, conversations on the phone, probably hearing it at least once every day on the streets, from hip-hop songs to works of literature and cinema productions. The term as we know it today is diverse from what it was a hundred years ago when it was used during slavery. Nonetheless it can either be a taboo word or the synonym for “dude”.
According to the African American Registry, “the word nigger can be traced back to the Latin word niger” which means black. It is said that “nigger” can be the altered spelling of the word Negro which means black in Spanish. In the early 1800’s the term was then being used as a derogatory term against the African-American group, used to trivialize the black community in order
…show more content…
On one hand Zulu Kente is affected by the word to the point where he begins to think that being /black was a bad thing/ because of how the term is being spewed at him with hate, as a result Kente has flashbacks of times when his self esteem was low because he thought something was wrong with him and has troubled him mentally since; Kente is most likely against the use of the term as it evidently still brings negative memories (Kente, 15). In her essay, Naylor turns the other cheek and realizes how the people around her are now taking the word lightly; one rarely thinks about the word and it’s past. Contrast to Zulu Kente’s poem, Gloria Naylor mentions how she’s heard the word as a “term of endearment for husband or boyfriend” (Naylor, 115). She then states how the word ‘nigger’ hold a representation of manhood deriving from times of oppression and slavery, the term showcases the struggles and conquers achieved throughout history by the black community; being called a ‘nigga’ by your girlfriend or wife is a stamp of having strength and bravery, the ability to conquer. Gloria believes that the use of the word is a way to crush those who thought they could belittle a group. Upon using the word frequently among the black community, it weakens the original derogative meaning of this word that was used to dominate a group of people (Naylor,

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    The Word Nigger

    • 292 Words
    • 2 Pages

    the years, and the things we used to say just aren’t okay anymore. For instance the word nigger, a commonly used word during the early 1900’s. This word is now considered profanity and not as commonly used as before. Over time our views of this word have changed greatly. The word nigger used to be said as something positive or to show approval of strength and intelligence to a man. “Im telling you, that nigger pulled in $6,000 of overtime last year, said he got enough for a down payment on a house”…

    • 292 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Better Essays

    What this means is that anyone who says the word "nigger" that's a race other than black does not appreciate the privilege, and furthermore has not the right to use it. This can be agreeable if you think in terms of culture and experience. This is not just a word; this is actual African American history on the spot. By being African American, one has the right to say the word. The meaning of the word is actually deeper than just a greeting. Despite some peoples feelings about who can use it, there…

    • 1537 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    the videos about the words “nigger” and “nigga” that I achieve a true discerning of its derogatory meaning. “Nigger” is one of the most common and controversial words in English. It's a hateful slur for African-Americans, but many of them use the word in a harmless way. The word “nigger” is used in different cultures or groups. At the same time when we use the word in a negative or in a friendly way, there are some results that exist. This word has its origin from the word "neger" that was itself…

    • 385 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays