The “N Word” (Outside Event)

Watch and offer your thoughts about film, especially as it relates to your own experiences.  Push yourself and engage the film (make sure you talk about specifics from the film, providing details and examples from the film). Think about history, privilege, inequity, etc. – Outside EVENT. 400-500 words



  1. David Herman
    December 11, 2015
    CES 101 – 1
    Outside Event 3

    This third set of videos is a film called “The ‘N Word’.” Its all about the beginnings, changing meaning, context, and future of the N word. The film touches on how public figures in the past, like Richard Pryor, have tried to change the meaning of the word. THe film also talks about how the setting, context, pronunciation, and speaker all influence the meaning and acceptance of the N word. The film also talks about the origin of the word. MOst people attribute the etimology of the word to “negro.” Then it talks about how it was prevalently used in slavery and most people attribute this to the negative characteristics behind the word. The talk about how most people would never use the term when addressing someone they do not know. In my own experiences, i have very rarely come across this term by word of mouth. This could be because i am white and grew up in a very white neighborhood and went to predominantly white schools. By word of mouth, the only times i have ever heard the n word was from white people directed at other white people in a strictly friendly manner. However i know that in different contexts, it can be interpretted in various, and sometimes negative, ways.


  2. The N Word. Is it okay to use the n word? Where did the n word even come from? How do people feel about the n word? It seems that everyone has different opinions about it. The n word was originally niger and was a Latin word for black. Over the years the meaning was changed and altered and spelt differently. It’s often thought of as a bad word used to degrade the blacks or African Americans. In these videos there are many African Americans that were interviewed and they all had different ideas and views on the word. Some say it doesn’t bother them when they are called a nigger, but most say it depends on who says it and in what situation. Often African Americans are offended when white people or people of a different race call them the n word. One man said in the video that he doesn’t like being called that by someone of a different race because they didn’t grow up with it and they don’t understand the meaning and history behind it. Society has started to use the n word as another word for brother or homie, something along those lines. It has been joked about and people use it pretty often now. Whether it’s okay or not is the question. Some feel its fine if its used in the right context and not in a harmful manner, and as long as the actions after it don’t discriminate against it. It’s used in jokes, conversations, and songs such as hip hop and rap. When people hear the n word in a song that makes them think its okay for them to say it and that spread to different countries as it was used more often as a joke and slang word. I hear songs all the time with the n word and I hear people say it as a joke or in a joke often too. There is no way we are ever going to get rid of the n word. It is used often and has been used for a long time. It is part of the history, present, and will be part of the future. Just getting rid of the n word itself won’t get rid of the problems or racism behind it.


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