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Publisher's Summary

In The N Word, a renowned cultural critic untangles the twisted history and future of racism through its most volatile word.

In 2003, the book Nigger started an intense conversation about the uses and implications of that epithet. The N Word moves beyond that short, provocative book by revealing how the word has both reflected and spread the scourge of bigotry in America.

Asim claims that even when uttered by hipsters and hip-hop icons, the slur helps keep blacks at the bottom of America's socioeconomic ladder. But he also proves there is a place for this word in the mouths and on the pens of those who truly understand its twisted history: from Mark Twain to Dave Chappelle to Mos Def. Only when we know its legacy can we loosen this slur's grip on our national psyche.

©2007 Jabari Asim (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Clear, engaging writing." (Publishers Weekly)
"Informed, sensible and impassioned." (Kirkus Reviews)
"He is most eloquent when relating how African Americans have been characterized in our culture; how the word nigger has been employed to oppress, belittle, dismiss, humiliate, and ridicule black people; and how they themselves have increasingly used it to satirize and oppose that oppression." (Library Journal)

What listeners say about The N Word

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good points, long winded

Some really pertinent history and context surrounding this word! Takes a really long time to cover them.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Hi
  • 06-17-21

a must listen

this is a heavy book but a book of great importance.. Will not be a waste of time or money

1 person found this helpful

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I’m gonna think twice before I use the N word

This was a fascinating and enlightening read. It educates the history of the usage of this word and also talks about the history of racism in itself. I recommend everyone to read this!

1 person found this helpful

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Extremely interesting perspective

The book was very provocative. And provided the reader with challenge to their own ideas if what the N word means to and for the individual based on their place in American society.

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Important Historic & Cultural Truths Revealed Here

Loved it! I could not have imagined that there was so much humor, pain and horror attached to the history of a single word!

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Truth that must be told

I am Kenyan and l have been struggling to understand why l am called black when l visit USA.
I now c
Get gist of this

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dry but enlightening

I did think this one was a little bit dry, but there was lots of really good information. I listen to it at 1.5 speed in order to avoid getting bogged down, but had to back up frequently to catch the names of some of the many historical figures mentioned.

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Very thought provoking, have a clear understanding

this word is not in my vocabulary for a reason. Very negative and demeaning way that white people see us as a race...

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This was a difficult one to wade through. Difficult subject, but hopefully worthwhile. I can't say I enjoyed it. It was well written and very well read.

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More history than You could ever get from a school

This book was amazing!!! This book should be on every syllabus aroind the world.