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Usage of the N-Word

History vs. Pop Culture's Influence

Ayenna Davis

on 14 November 2017

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Transcript of Usage of the N-Word

Side B
N* in Paris
Taking back the N-word???
What's in a Name?
By Victoria Rowles

What’s in a name? The young student asked.
And why is the future connected to the past?
And why does that word that starts with a “N”,
Incite violence in the most peaceful of men?
The teacher looked perplexed and didn’t know where to begin,
To explain that word that starts with a “N”.
The dictionary seemed like a good place to start,
But it didn’t even touch upon the most important part.
How can a volume designed to define,
Words and phrases formed in the mind,
Give meaning to and take apart,
A concept of hate formed in the heart:
Of men who deny the humanity,
Of darker hued people who look like me.
Of men who believe that their lack of melanin,
Makes them pure and incapable of sin.
Of men who prayed and held Bibles in their hand,
While they raped and pillaged humanity’s motherland.
Of men who built empires, fortunes and fame,
By promoting a concept we mistakenly call: “a name”.
What’s in a name? The teacher asked.
And why is the future connected to the past?
And why does that word that starts with a “N”.
Incite violence in the most peaceful of men?
The student tried to answer but he was a little confused.
So he stopped in mid-sentence and asked to be excused.
The teacher asked the student why he suddenly had to go.
At first the student looked down and said: “I don’t know”.
Then the student decided to reveal his newly made plans,
To go and study the history of all hue-mans.

What’s in a name?

Side A
The N-Word Conflict
The Battle between History & Pop Culture
One of the most


words in English history...
The N-word defined....
a lazy person with no self respect, no regard for family, ignorant, stupid, slow moving, does not speak proper English and has child like qualities...
Jeremy Atticus “Jem” Finch

- Scout’s brother and constant playmate at the beginning of the story. Jem is something of a typical American boy, refusing to back down from dares and fantasizing about playing football. Four years older than Scout, he gradually separates himself from her games, but he remains her close companion and protector throughout the novel.
Jean Louise “Scout” Finch


The narrator and protagonist of the story. Scout lives with her father, Atticus, her brother, Jem, and their black cook, Calpurnia, in Maycomb. She is intelligent and, by the standards of her time and place, a tomboy.
Atticus Finch

- Scout and Jem’s father, a lawyer in Maycomb descended from an old local family. A widower with a dry sense of humor, Atticus has instilled in his children his strong sense of morality and justice. He is one of the few residents of Maycomb committed to racial equality.
Boo Radley
- A recluse who never sets foot outside his house, Boo dominates the imaginations of Jem, Scout, and Dill. He is a powerful symbol of goodness swathed in an initial shroud of creepiness, leaving little presents for Scout and Jem. He is one of the novel’s “mockingbirds,” a good person injured by the evil of mankind.

- The Finches’ black cook. Calpurnia is a stern disciplinarian and the children’s bridge between the white world and her own black community.
Tom Robinson

- The black field hand accused of rape. Tom is one of the novel’s “mockingbirds,” an important symbol of innocence destroyed by evil.
Descriptive words

Do you know the history of when the N-word began being used and why???
It ranges from being playful slang amongst friends to a word of pure hatred. Among teens, in music, in the streets, etc; the N-Word gets thrown around casually…like saying the word “Swag”, "On fleek", or "Throwing shade". Many people argue about the definition or meaning of the N-Word. In fact there are quite a few people who use the word, yet don’t know its history.

Until slavery...
Noun 1. n-word - (ethnic slur) extremely offensive name for a Black person; "only a Black can call another Black a nigga"
jigaboo, nigga, nigra, coon, spade
derogation, disparagement, depreciation - a communication that belittles somebody or something
ethnic slur - a slur on someone's race or language
Black person, blackamoor, Negro, Negroid, Black - a person with dark skin who comes from Africa (or whose ancestors came from Africa)

Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
The n-word was first documented being used in writing in 1587 as negar. The n-word is a term the slave masters used to label his slaves. The n-word's origins are in hate and/or the contempt that the slave master had for his slaves. No matter how it is spelled…’gra…’gro…’gga…’gger…the word has carried these emotions of hate throughout the centuries which is why it is so painful to hear.

I have heard the n-word used in movies, videos, music, books...

The n-word is a term of endearment…
(What does that mean)?

Could calling someone the n-word be seen as respectful?

I am comfortable with the use of the “n-word” by people, or in music, books, etc… Why?

The use of the n-word in pop culture (movies, videos, music, and books) is ok…

What do you think would happen if people in pop culture stopped using the n-word?

The Double Standard
Scout Finch (Mary Badham), 6,and her older brother, Jem (Phillip Alford), live in sleepy Maycomb, Ala., spending much of their time with their friend Dill (John Megna) and spying on their reclusive and mysterious neighbor, Boo Radley (Robert Duvall). When Atticus (Gregory Peck), their widowed father and a respected lawyer, defends a black man named Tom Robinson (Brock Peters) against fabricated rape charges, the trial and tangent events expose the children to evils of racism and stereotyping.
More definitions...

Offensive; see usage paragraph below —used as an insulting and contemptuous term (disrespectful, insulting) for a black person

Offensive; see usage paragraph below —used as an insulting and contemptuous term for a member of any dark-skinned race


Often offensive; A member of a class or group of people who are systematically subjected to discrimination and unfair treatment.
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