OK…I just saw the film “Birth of a Nation”. It tells the story of Nat Turner who led a revolt against the evil men who kept them and his people in bondage right here in America. If you’re not familiar with his story it’s an important American story that all of us should be familiar with. When I walked into the theater I noticed only one other person, an elderly white man. I also noticed that at some point during the film he was gone, so I watched most of the film by myself. Hmmmmm…
Briefly, the story is about Nat Turner who was a literate slave (which was exceptionally unusual). As Nat grew older he began preaching to other slaves, and got a bit of a reputation among a number of slave owners as being a great speaker. In fact he was so good that other slave owners (it hurts to even say those words) began to hire him to speak to their slaves. The intention was for Nat to basically lie to the slaves that all was good, and calm any thoughts they might have about a rebellion. Eventually Nat changed from being a lying surrogate for the slave owners to being a truth teller to the slaves. I won’t give any more of the story away.
What always sticks with me when I see a movie about slavery is a couple of things. One is the depth of how wicked and inhumane the institution of slavery was. The other thing that hits me is the magnificence of those people who endured being stolen away from their country, and were brought here to be treated like animals. But to paraphrase the late great Maya Angelou “still I rise.”
I noticed another thing, a certain word being used – NIGGA. It was used over and over again, but not by black folk. It was used by slave owners and other wicked people who thought it was perfectly acceptable to treat humans as if they weren’t. They didn’t change the “ER” to an “A” to be clever. They pronounced the word NIGGER as NIGGA because they were illiterate. And somehow, my powerful ancestors who managed to survive the American Holocaust have in some unfortunate cases devolved into shameless, pride less people who found a way to justify the unjustifiable, using that word against each other.
Hundreds of years ago when black folk were being hung from trees, whipped and maimed, stolen from their families, and sold like property…I’m pretty sure they never thought it was cool to call another black person a NIGGER OR NIGGA. They knew how important it was to stay connected to the greatness of their heritage and to each other.
I am proud of my African heritage, even though as is the case with most African Americans much of that heritage has been stolen from me. But, whatever the wrongs done to my ancestors, I know the greatness of those dark majestic people. I will never disrespect them by embracing a word whose entire intention was to treat me like I don’t deserve to be here. So please spare me the bullshit about changing the “ER” to an “A”. Please don’t insult my intelligence by telling me the word NIGGA is a term of affection. It’s more like a word of infection. I have heard that word used with all of the disgusting hate it was born with by black folk against other black folk.
We as the descendants of the first civilization, builders of pyramids, creators of medicine and math will never be fully respected until we respect ourselves. Yes, BLACK LIVES MATTER! But first we have got to start behaving like they do in our own communities. Stop using the word NIGGA! It is not harmless, it’s destructive. Please go see this outstanding film. It’s hard to watch, but it’s really important that you do.
BLACK MAN!!!!!!!! We got some house cleaning to do…Let’s Go!!!
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I believe I was put here on this earth to teach people how to live bigger, better, and more awesome lives. I am not always right but I always have something to say…and I am here to say it. I want to change the world, and I know that I can with a little help from my friends. So, I created The MInd of KLH blog to inform and spark the imagination of anyone desiring a world full of possibilities realized.One Love...Really!
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