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The 'N' Word

Back before I traveled out of Africa, I had no idea that the 'N' word was such a strong negative word and is a big deal to use it. I’m even afraid of writing the word in full because I feel I may offend some people and that is not my intention. You know, back in Africa we see in the African-American comedies, movies and songs, they call each other the N word. So I really thought it was a cool word and most people still do so in Africa.

After traveling to the Americas, OMG! It is a big deal. Someone could
kill you for calling them that word. But according to what I have seen, there is a double standard to this word, the African-Americans can call each other the N word but other races are not allowed to call them so. This is something I don't understand. The word can only be used by a certain race? Within the African-Americans, it is used with pride and it looks like they really like the word. For all those African-Americans in the Americas they should not be surprised if they come to Africa and are greeted with the N word by a ‘brother’ because the message we receive in the media is that it is a cool word to use. I think if they really want the word not to be used on them then they should not use it at all. If it is not used in the media and music then we in Africa would not even know the word exist.

I am very confused and to tell you the truth I still don’t know why that word carries so much pain and agony and after seeing the double standard, was not interested in doing any research on it. I believe there is no African who does not know that our fore fathers experienced slavery and that is in the history books now.

Should African-Americans stop using the N word?


  1. Six_33 said...:

    When African Americans were slaves here in the United States, the slaveowners who were Caucasians called them the N word. It is a derogatory word meant to denigrate a race of people or the individual it is used upon.

    Many people of my ethnic origin-African Americans-do not like the word because of the dark historical connotations. However, there are certain segments of the population, like the Hip Hop and rap music culture in which to be called the N word is likened to be like a brother or have the same cultural experience.

    We in the African American community do not all like the N word and wish it would stop being used.

    For another race to call an African American the N word is, well, bad. Unless, the person from the race has been indoctrinated to the African American Hip Hop or Rap music culture, and this is how he/she interacts with friends who are African American, then it is ok to use the N word, if it is ok with the African American friend and then it is to be used in a non-denigrating manner. Although there are those who will disagree with me on this point.

    The N word is a racial slur like any other ethnic racial slur and should never be used at all by other racial groups or African Americans.

  1. Dirishani said...:

    Thanks for the visit and enlightenment. Most of us from Africa know nothing about the American slave history. Growing up I used to think that these things happened centuries ago only to become surprised that when you travel out of Africa the wounds are very fresh and the 'official' oppression ended few decades ago.

    On the other hand, the 'N' word is not the problem but racism is, and just removing the word will not eliminate the problem. I think its better to just remove the power off the word and give it its original meaning which I believe means black. The African Americans are no longer victims, your forefathers were. If the word has to be vanquished then I think it should not be used at all under any circumstances.

    Still as Africans we don't refer ourselves as black because we are in different complexions unlike Caucasians who are just white. For me and other Africans that word does not hurt us and has no meaning at all. Don't you want to see the face of the person trying to hurt you with that word when they realize that the word does not hurt you at all? They will look and feel stupid and that is going to make them stop using that word.

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