Summary Of In Defense Of A Loaded Word

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In the article, “In Defense of a Loaded Word”, the author Ta-Nehisi Coates claims the use of the n-word should be exercised exclusively among African-Americans. Although Coates claims the word should be used, it shouldn’t be for several reasons. Firstly, the origins of the word came from a very dark time period in America when slavery was yet to be abolished. Second, because of the fact that Coates believes only African-Americans should only use this word and no other race can is a double standard. If, for example, a black person addresses another black person with the n-word, the context of the word is taken as a friendly greeting, but if a white person were to say the n-word to a black person, then the context of the word would change and be perceived as an insult to the black person just because a white person said it. And thirdly, while Coates argues the word is “attached to one of the most vibrant cultures of the Western world”, he also says the “culture is inextricably linked to the violence that birthed us” and most African-Americans as well as Americans wouldn’t like to relive this past violence because of this word. …show more content…

When America was founded in 1776, slavery was widely practiced and accepted, and the n-word was frequently used as a way to address African slaves. Most, or at least all Americans at that time believed that Africans were sub-humans that had no rights to their names whatsoever. The word itself evolved from the Spanish word negro as well as from the French word nègre, both which have the meaning of the color black. Even after slavery was abolished in 1865, African-Americans still lacked rights and were frequently called the n-word as well. The word holds a heavy connotation which brings up terrible memories from history as well as times of rebellion and the civil rights

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