Is It Ever OK For White People To Say NIGGER?

In an article released last week for Time Magazine, writer Touré asserts that it’s not OK for white people to use the word nigger (or its crazy cousin, nigga).

Well…he does list some exceptions.

According to Touré, white people can say nigger if they are:

1. Reporting on, commenting on, or writing some kind of think piece involving the word nigger.

 Or

 2. Using the word as part of a play, film, song, piece of visual art or stand-up comedy routine.

Is that alright with you?

The Enduring Power of Tupac Shakur

Yesterday was Tupac Shakur’s 40th birthday. And though it has been 15 years since his untimely death, the continued fascination and adoration he conjures amongst black youth (and the world, at large) is a testament to an iconic, albeit brief career that truly transcended mere beats and rhymes. Subversive, contradictory and brutally honest, Tupac’s music told the story of the young black male coming of age in the 1990’s. It is a dichotomous story; one where an appreciation for unity and consciousness within the Black community collides with capitalistic ambition and the attainment of an American dream, by any means necessary. His work spoke truth to a racist, capitalistic power structure, while at the same time attempting to usurp and dominate that structure with its own values and tools.

And that’s what made Tupac’s music so powerful and dangerous.

Afro-centrism, the Offspring of Euro-centrism?

Whatever the name, Black Studies, Africana studies, or African American Studies, university disciplines designed for understanding African history have a problem of attempting to be too Black. When I say “too Black” I’m not saying that Africana culture (relates to both African and African-Diaspora culture) is annoying, but that the way that scholars handle it can be ridiculous. Most programs are afro-centric, (they teach that everything originates from Africa) so every discussion feels heavy on the criticism of how un-African everyone and everything is. In the case that American education still fascinates itself with European culture disproportionately, I can understand the normal procedures of Africana studies. Regardless though, these programs were set up to help lead the political agendas of Black folks. And as it stands it forgets that the struggle of Black people is the same struggle of enslaved peoples and self-proclaimed masters worldwide.