“What up my nigga?”
“Nigga?” Why do we insist on addressing each other in such a derogatory
manner? Why should we not want something more from each other? Why should we not
demand more? Are we that incapable of fabricating a more intelligible form of
Black America has forbid White America from using the word “nigger” in any
form when referring to a black person. It is considered a sign of racism and
prejudice. It is considered a sign of disrespect! How can we demand such respect
from others, yet tolerate the lack from each other?
I have asked this question over and over and have yet to obtain a decent reply.
Some urban youth feel that Black America has redefined the word “nigger.” It
is no longer a term of indignity when falling from the lips of the “right”
person. In fact, the acceptable term has transformed from “nigger” to “nigga.”
The The use of the word “nigger” in any fashion by blacks today is truly
something that bewilders me. Do we actually think that replacing two letters
makes this an acceptable cliché? I fail to understand why we would have any
type of association with an expression used so freely and heartlessly to degrade
I look forward to the day when Black America collectively realizes that the
causes as well as the solutions to many of our problems can be found within our
own communities. With this in mind, I hope we soon come to understand that in
order to effectively demand respect from anyone, we must first respect
ourselves. Until this concept is realized, the asinine use of any term
associated with the word “nigger” will be something that continues to
© 2001 Tracy
© 2001 Howard University.
(First Published in limited print edition, An Anthology of Verse and Prose, by the Composition for Honours Class, Howard University, Spring 2001. Professor E.R. Braithwaite)
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