4 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful
Allison K. reviewed Nigger - The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word on
Helpful Score: 1
I suppose for someone with limited knowledge on the subject it could be useful and thought-provoking. It is written for the masses. As a graduate with an Africana Studies major, I was expecting a book written by a Harvard professor to be much deeper. It's largely a cataloging of instances where the word was used and how context effected it's meaning, both through media and historical contexts. It really seemed a bit repetitive, didn't give me any new information, and it's rather a slight book. Overall, I'd say it's a good book for a novice on the subject matter.
Pat M. (PatC-M) reviewed Nigger - The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word on
It's "the nuclear bomb of racial epithets," a word that whites have employed to wound and degrade African Americans for three centuries. Paradoxically, among many black people it has become a term of affection and even empowerment. The word, of course, is "nigger" and in this candid, lucidly aruged book the distinguished legal scholar Randall Kennedy traces its origins, maps its multifarious connotations, and explores the controversies that rage around it.
Should blacks be able to use "nigger" in ways forbidden to others? Should the law treat it as a provocation that reduces the culpability of those who respond to it violently? Should it cost a person his job, or a book like "Huckleberry Finn" its place on library shelves? With a range of reference that extends from the Jim Crow South to Chris Rock routines and the O.J.Simpson trial, Kennedy takes on not just a word, but outlaws, attitudes, and culture with bracing courage and intelligence."