Concept Analysis Essay

947 WordsSep 18, 20124 Pages
Irma D. Felton 21 May 2011 ENG 105 English Composition John Lowery There is Power in Words Racism is still alive in America. It is not as overt but its presence is still felt. I believe there is power in words. The Bible says there is death and life in the power of the tongue. Words can either be used to edify, uplift and encourage or they can be used to tear down, demoralize and debase. Which do you choose? In this essay I will attempt to analyze how African Americans have reclaimed a term that has been used for numerous years to negatively characterize their race and them as people. By changing the spelling of nigger to nigga and using it to express positive attributes such as brotherhood and inclusion it has aided…show more content…
This word has always intrigued me because of the power it gave to one race and the dignity it took from another. Nigga is a unique intra-racial form of the word nigger popularized by rap artist and hip hop music. In most African American neighborhoods, nigga is commonly used to refer to both males and females. It is not considered derogatory but evokes a sense of community and oneness among black people. (Cato, Kevin) When I open my door in the morning I see the young black men and women standing on the corner. I can hear them greeting each other with “What’s up my nigga?” I have known most of these young adults since they were children so I decided to go and talk with them. I asked them,” how would you feel if a white person walked up and greeted you using those same words?” I could instantly see the change in their demeanor. The hostility in their eyes and voices was unbelievable! They confessed that even though they do have friends who are white it would not be acceptable for them to use the “N” word. African Americans have laid claim to the word nigga as “their” word. It is not used by them to put each other down but to greet one another and show camaraderie. When this word is used by a Caucasian or anyone other than an African American it is perceived as offensive. The word nigga is used daily, mostly by African Americans, as a term of endearment. This word can be heard in general conversation and in Hip Hop

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