• Nigger

  • The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word - with a New Introduction by the Author
  • By: Randall Kennedy
  • Narrated by: Langston Darby
  • Length: 5 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Americas
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

Nigger: It is arguably the most consequential social insult in American history, though, at the same time, a word that reminds us of “the ironies and dilemmas, tragedies and glories of the American experience.” In this tour de force, distinguished Harvard Law School professor Randall Kennedy - author of the highly acclaimed Race, Crime, and the Law - “put[s] a tracer on nigger”, to identify how it has been used and by whom, while analyzing the controversies to which it has given rise. 

With unprecedented candor and insight Kennedy explores such questions as: How should nigger be defined? Is it, as some have declared, necessarily more hurtful than other racial epithets? Do Blacks have a right to use nigger even as others do not? Should the law view nigger baiting as a provocation strong enough to reduce the culpability of a person who responds violently to it? Should a person be fired from his or her job for saying nigger? How might the destructiveness of nigger be assuaged? 

To be ignorant of the meanings and effects of nigger, says Kennedy, is to render oneself vulnerable to all manner of peril. This book brilliantly and sensitively addresses that concern.

©2008 Randall Kennedy (P)2021 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Provocative...engaging and informative.” (The New York Times)

“Should be required reading.... This little book deserves to be read especially if we seek better understanding of ourselves and others.” (The Dallas Morning News

“Demonstrates a key truth about the N-word.... it tracks our racial history and stars in a slew of court decisions that reveal large truths about bigotry and free expression.” (Philadelphia Inquirer

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A Better Understanding!

There is a quote that says "In all your getting, get understanding. l have a more in-depth understanding of the N-Word, however, l still don't like the use of it in any context. l think it is still the most Dirtiest, Filthiest, Most Despicable word in the English language, and should not be used by Black or any other nationality. My opinion is solely my own.

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  • JB
  • 02-24-22

Would this book survive among the anti CRT cabbal?

Read (or listen to)the book, by the way, it's a great deal about the intersection of speech, culture, history and law, not miserly at all. Worthy of burning...