The increased use of the word, “nigger”, in mainstream media by young people is the result of the lack of knowledge of historical context and thus inadequate education. The ignorance from those who use it resonate from the lack of relatability and apathy of the suffering and indignifying treatment of African-Americans when the word was used in a derogative manner. The consequence that also arise as a result of the desensitization of the word is the normalized stigma of disrespect towards black people–by allowing a term previously used in the slavery era as a norm, it is as though they are praising or glorifying the slavery. The usage of the word freely will merely be a display of ignorance, especially when black people use it. It is normalizing
Cullen is hopeful to get to a place where people of different races will be able to look at others without prejudice and discrimination. However, the poem “Incident” is of a less positive tone. She expresses her experience in a shocked manner, saying, a boy stuck his “tongue out and, called, [her] ‘Nigger’,” (Cullen 8). She was so shocked that “From May until December; .../… of all the things that happened... /… that’s all [she could remember” in Baltimore (Cullen 10-12). At the young age that she was at, it is surprising and upsetting to her to be discriminated against for no reason.
When we talk about preferences, it is important to observe if the other person is willing to be called that racist term. Naylor states, “I didn’t know what a nigger was, but I knew that whatever it meant, it was something he shouldn’t have called me” (Naylor 477). Naylor’s character is very biased. The analysis of her essay towards such racist terms is that you can’t call someone the word “nigger” if you don’t know him or her well enough. Even though in her family the racist term came up a lot, she
“Graduation Day” illustrates Maya Angelou’s experience on her graduation day. All of Angelou’s feelings, reasoning, and thoughts of her graduation day are depicted between the pages of her short story. Her text covers multiple different aspects of a segregated community’s lifestyle and explains their decisions on coping with their
In “Mommy, What Does Nigger Mean?”, author Gloria Naylor explains throughout her piece that reality shapes language and language can shape reality. Naylor explains this, “chicken or the egg dispute” (Naylor 1) through her experiences with the word nigger. Gloria explains how she starts on one side of reality and shaping her language, then comes to another understanding from the boy in her third grade class. Language can be how words are used, what their meaning is and the purpose behind that selection of words. Reality is everyday life and experiences. When in third grade Naylor encounters nigger as a racial derogatory when a boy said “nigger” to her while receiving graded tests back. To Gloria it was anything but a racial put down since
The essay “The Meanings of a Word” by Gloria Naylor discusses the many definitions of a word and how its meaning can change according to context and delivery. She made this point by telling a story of her childhood and the first time she heard the n-word used by a white person in a derogatory, demeaning way. She described her this situation that took place when she was in third-grade and a boy in front of her in math class called her the n-word. She had no idea what it meant to be called that in a negative way because the people she grew up around only used it as positive and empowering. At the end of her essay, she once again emphasized how easy it is to change a word into something hateful simply depending on who says it and their
Solomon Northup Paper Briana Barrett-Riddle 2/9/15 Reading the content in this book made me get a picture of what it was like to be a colored person in this time. My eyes were opened to the meaning of the word “nigga”. Nigga is such a derogatory term, yet now-a-days it is used
Negroes do not like it in any book or play whatsoever, be the book or play ever so sympathetic in its treatment of the basic problems of the race. Even [if] the book or play is written by a Negro, they still [would] not like it” (Henry). In addition, John Wallace believes that the word “nigger” is so offensive that he rewrote the novel without the word “nigger.”
Through racist views Janie and her community were cast apart and alienated from society. They banded together as a united force, although strong, they were seen as less than equals to their white counterparts. Throughout the novel we see many examples of racism and it’s cruel remarks, however the most prevalent is found in Janie’s conversations with Mrs Turner. Through these conversations Mrs Turner informs the reader of her racist passions and thoughts of both black and white races. (Hurston, chp 16). In these remarks and racial slurs the reader is able to correlate the ideals of Mrs. Turner to the ones found in today’s society. We as a country are unfortunately built upon racism, and it is due to those beliefs of inferiority belonging to Mrs. Turner and others that our country is still so divided. However, with great love, we as Americans can fight for what’s right and take a stand like Janie did.
With the arrival of the family in Welch, the sense of disconnection was furthered by the blending of family politics. The Walls family, dependent upon the charity of Rex’s parents for food and shelter now had to contend with racism and sexual abuse. The children who had been encouraged to speak freely about their opinions now had to keep quiet. Jeanette had visited a different neighborhood which her uncle had referred to as “Niggerville,” and this blatantly racist attitude was a shock (Walls 143). The grandmother accosted Jeanette that day, commenting “keep this up and people are going to think you are a nigger lover” not only was the word offensive to Jeanette, she told her grandmother “You’re not supposed to use that word, mom says they are just like us” (Walls 143). Her opinion was not appreciated; as a result, she was banished to the basement by her grandmother without food. There was no support from Rose Mary on the issue due to their dependence on the grandparents for food and
In "The Meaning of a Word" and "Being a Chink", Gloria Naylor and Christine Leong examine words of hatred that are meant to scorn, hurt and disgrace people. But these same words could also be used without harmful intentions and in a fashion of endearment
Nigger: Historical and Current Use “Nigger: it is arguably the most consequential social insult in American History, though, at the same time, a word that reminds us of ‘the ironies and dilemmas, tragedies and glories of the American experience’” (Kennedy 1). Harvard Law Professor Randall Kennedy’s book Nigger: The Strange Career of
Have you ever asked yourself about the meaning of life? According the Nagel, if we look at the big picture than all of our lives are meaningless. One day the universe is going to stop functioning and all life will perish so what is the point of our existence? To some people this could be harmful to their self-esteem because they want to be able to know that they live for a reason. To others, the thought of an overall meaningless life doesn’t mean that their life is meaningless within their lifetime. Some people have a more religious view. Maybe God gives us a purpose in living. In this chapter Nagel talks about the possibilities when taking into consideration the meaning to life.