Dec 28 2009
AV Rockwell - N screenshots

AV Rockwell: Conversations in the Word of N

There are a few words I try not to say, one of them is nigga. Even with the remixed spelling, it just doesn’t feel like a complimentary term; certainly not something I’d call a friend. So on the occasions I do use it, it’s usually in the ‘correct’ context: angry or pointing out the stupidity of folks. The debate over whether to use the word or not, and who gets that ‘privilege’ is time that can be better spent.

You will never convince either side why they might want to rethink their ways: niggas made their choice and they’re sticking with it. It seems like a round trip to Africa - ala Malcolm X,  Richard Pryor, or Dave Chappelle - is necessary before a change of mind comes about. I think Dave Chappelle ‘banned it before he went to Africa, but here’s some light reading “Ixnay on the N-Word already” and “Dave Chappelle: Black Vernacular Intellectual”)

Nevertheless, here’s a video put together by a young director/screenwriter in training AV Rockwell (pictured up top with the peace sign.) It’s a compilation of interviews, with young and older folks talking about the word in a work she simply calls..  “N.”

Check the Miles Davis playing in the background, Spike Lee would love this.

☼ What's Your Opinion? ☼

1 train of thought Wed, Jan 06, 2010 - 1:33 am

You said, “...pointing out the stupidity of folks. The debate over whether to use the word or not, and who gets that ‘privilege’ is time that can be better spent.”

I agree. However, the point you make about the argument of this said word is time that could have been better spent.

I’m white and have a black friend that calls me the word all the time. I don’t mind, I think it’s funny… especially considering the two of us have really no personal association with slavery or bigotry. It seems positive when I think that it’s all behind us, the slavery thing and all, the civil rights movement, the launching of the proud BET network… we even stopped along the way to pick up a black president. I’m proud to call my black friend a honkey, as he refers to me as nigga… we have overcome my friend.

Really, you know, I am geeky in many ways like a stereotypical white person and do wish I was a smooth brotha’. I think we can take something from everyone, and jokes are jokes. However, I don’t call white people n***rs, I call them assholes when I’m being derogatory… and I call black people assholes too… ah, come to think of it, I call all races assholes. We’re all just a bunch of n***rs, assholes, honkeys, towel-heads, and f**kwarts all-mixed up living together in this world.

I’m glad I read your post sir, because it has propagated several racial slurs and thoughts to appear in my head. Further, I hope others may conclude the black/white rift exists because we argue these insubstantial and idiotic points, speaking and promulgating, preaching the issue is alive and exists through this ongoing and useless rhetoric. 

Think about this, “there’s no such thing as a nigga or a n***r”.

And anutha thang! I see the black people themselves continuing to play out stereotypes through movies, film, and comedy. That needs to stop! Many people are laughing AT you.

Concerning the “N” word, the biggest response that has come from the black community in response to the expansion of this word in the U.S. was to embrace the word itself and claim it as a term of endearment.  There are pockets of people who think this way, still I suspect the majority of law-abiding African American citizens find it appalling. However disgraceful are the subtleties of why this is so, including regular network programming and radio, print, clothing…
It brings to image a man such as Tyler Perry, who pokes holes in the integrity of the African American race, and then says “aha, you know, and we all know we’re joking in the movies and overexaggerating… making jest”... and that says to me in fact, you shouldn’t care, and as black people you should accept these idiotic stereotypes.

Honest to God, get up and stand up for your rights and accept responsibility and the word will drown out so far it could disappear! And don’t even mention it when it does.

2 Jackson Polica Tue, Mar 09, 2010 - 12:47 pm

Train of thought, you are an idiot. And no its never funny to be called the N word. You have no culture, black history or valuable history as it is. You are a European that has never or never had anyone who has been discriminated, hung, killed, or ridiculed based on a physical feature. Get the hell out of here, when you say its a subject that deserves no time spent. Well if you have better things to do, do better reading and how this word has been falsely associated with an entire nationality and race of people as pertaining to the “Webster” definition of the word. Train of thought, of course, you can see how you thought has been trained to have at least “A” meaning at least 1 black friend. Thanks for the filling your Affimative Action requirements. I have plenty of white friends, grew up in Boise Idaho, and understand the fine line of differences and can understand that every subject pertaining to race and creed is never time wasted, it helps us get over our differences, unfortunately our physical differences. Stop being educated by your Uncle Tom friend, get off facebook and read a real book.

3 Asha Fri, Jun 18, 2010 - 6:49 pm

There should be no debate over this word really, it was a negative word directed at african american people. Why even use the word today? Im sorry but it makes absolutely no sense to use the word and say that its “positive” now because the majority of A.A people use it and therefore it doesnt have the same power or effect that it used to(yet when the “wrong” person says it someone gets immediately offended sometimes). No one needs to say this word period. The word is apart of African American History and it should stay there, so many young people are walking around just using this word when they dont even know the pain and strife this caused so long ago when it was used to demean black people. Seriously everyone needs to realize just how ignorant they sound when using this word. Its sad when racist ppl can sit back and laugh at how black folks are actually calling each other niggas/ers now after all this time. SMH