"how I feel about the word 'nigga' is shaped by two lives"


In response to “What are your thoughts about the use of the words nigger nigga and derivatives? Are some allowed to say it?”

Off my white person cuff, the word “nigga”, “nigger” or any derivation thereof makes my hands sweat, a strong disgust and moral aversion rises within me.  But off my growing up the only white kid in the black neighborhood cuff, maybe I just feel awkward, like trying to feel comfortable calling my Mom’s friends by their nick names like “Sporty Boy” and “Boosie” or “Big Mama”.  At times, everyone was “dat nigga” and everybody had a “Big Mama”.  And it was cool, because we were “we”, a community.  So, how I feel about the word ‘nigga’ is shaped by two lives, one where I was “in” the community, and one where I was separate from.  It’s like a word in a tonal language, the word changes based on who, how, and with what inflection it is spoken.