The Negative Connotation Of The N-Word

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T he n-word originated as a slang to negro, the Spanish word for black. In America the term has held a negative connotation since as early as the 17th century when John Rolf used negars to describe the slaves shipped to the new world from Africa. By the 1900’s the negative connotation of the n-word had matured and flourished.The word began to be linked with violence, brutality, and inhumanity against blacks.The n-word today is commonly associated with lynchings and violent killings committed by the notorious KKK during the 20th century.Jennifer Lowery –Bell describes the connotation associated with n-word, "That word reminds me of lynchings and black men disappearing in the night and all of the dehumanizing things that used to happen to African…show more content…
much of a negative connotation associated with the n-word today, there should be no room for people to jokingly throw the word around in today’s society.In my own experience, I have witnessed young people throwing the word around as if it was a slang word for friend.As I hear these people calling their friends this word, usually being the people whose ancestors had been discriminated against in the 1900’s, all I can think is that the African Americans had went through so much to have equality and strip that word from the white vernacular.The usage of this word to me is disrespectful to all African American’s and is a harsh reminder of what use to happen in America.Opposing this view of the n-word, as well as my own, is a group of people who think it is acceptable to use the n-word because the word can be defused through reclaiming it.The connotative meaning of the word has changed.The use of this word is typically not offensive.Appropriated uses of the n-word have a different meaning from the derogatory use, like ‘buddy’ or ‘friend’.Those who debate that the use of the n- word is okay, use the excuse that it is not being used in a derogatory sense and that it is legitimate and okay to use it.They insist that the word has been reclaimed and its
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