Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word

Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word

by Randall Kennedy
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Paperback(First Vintage Books Edition)

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Overview

Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word by Randall Kennedy

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 argued 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 our laws, attitudes, and culture with bracing courage and intelligence.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375713712
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/14/2003
Edition description: First Vintage Books Edition
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 474,703
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Randall Kennedy received his undergraduate degree from Princeton and his law degree from Yale. He is a Rhodes Scholar and served as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall before joining the faculty of the Harvard Law School. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Association, and the American Law Institute, Mr. Kennedy lives in Dedham, Massachusetts.

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Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Heard about it on cnn a few years back, while walking through the store i saw it and decided to read it. Glad I did, the book gives more insight to the problems and history surrounding the word than anything else i've ever watched and read. Kennedy does this while refraining from showing bias, making this almost THE textbook on how such a subject should be explained.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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