64° Pueblo, CO
SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

What's New?
  • The Creative Experience - coming to Fuel & Iron Food Hall from 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. Thursday 6/27. Join us for an evening of poetry, art, and music!
SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

Who can and cannot use the N-word?

Photo+provided+by+Unsplash.+Civil+Rights+March+on+Washington+D.C.+Dr.+Martin+Luther+King+Jr.+and+Matthew+Ahmann+in+a+crowd.
Photo provided by Unsplash. Civil Rights March on Washington D.C. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Matthew Ahmann in a crowd.

By Cassime Joseph

This topic has divided the nation for more than 400 years. The word “n*gg*r” comes from oppression, hatred against a race, and bigotry. According to the Merriam-webster dictionary, the word is offensive, used as an insult, and contemptuous term for a Black person.  

 “N*gg*r” came from the Latin word “niger, “meaning black. In 1619, the earlier settlers in Jamestown used the word to describe enslaving blacks. According to Professor Kendy from a PBS interview, the word started to become a slur in 1820 when white people threatened their children to behave, or they would be the next so-called “n*gg*rs.” 

From the death of Emmitt Till in 1955, a 13-year-old boy was murdered after being accused of offending a woman in her family grocery store, to the bombing of the Bramham Church, there was a stir in the Black community. The action became a movement when in 1967, heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali refused to fight in the Vietnam war. Months later, a young scholar named Martin Luther King Jr. spoke his famous “I had a Dream” speech. 

The civil rights movement brought a new meaning and a better perspective on what it meant to be black. The term “I am Black, and I am proud” was embraced. Black people were not asking for respect; they were demanding it. 

Knowing that white people used the word to terrorize African Americans, Black people started to embrace the term. Hip-hop artists like NWA (N*gga with an Attitude) or comedians use the word n*gga for comic relief. African Americans would make the phrase mainstream in their cultures to show a reflection of racism or make the word their own. 

Some people argue that the word is in their favorite song, which justifies them saying it. Others say that it is just a word and that there should be an attachment of emotion. Because the so-called “n-word” is going mainstream, other races, including white people, think it is okay to say the word. 

America is divided and is shown through different perspectives, such as an NFL player Colin Kaepernick, who lost his career trying to send a message. Then the death of Gorge Floyd brought The Black Lives Matter movement to what it is today. Everyone should take caution where and when they say the “n-word.” When you hear that slur, instead of getting upset, educate the individual on the effect of the word. The person next to you might not be the same group of people you hang out with daily. 

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Today

Your donation will support the student journalists of Colorado State University Pueblo. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Today

Comments (0)

All The Today Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *