The debate over the N-word touches almost every aspect of American popular culture. Does it ever have an appropriate place in the media? Are rappers justified in using it? Should Huckleberry Finn, which repeats it 215 times, be taught in high school?
As the cultural critic Jabari Asim explains, none of these questions can be addressed effectively without a clear knowledge of the words bitter legacy. Here he draws on a wide range of examples from science, politics, the arts, and more to reveal how the slur has both reflected and spread the scourge of bigotry in America over the past four hundred years.
He examines the contributions of such well-known figures as Thomas Jefferson and Mark Twain, W.E.B Du Bois and Margaret Mitchell, Dave Chappelle and N.W.A. Through this history, Asim shows how completely our national psyche is affected by the use of the word, and why it’s such a flashpoint today.*
*This text is taken from the synopsis on the back of the book.