The "N" Word

Better Essays
CeCe Williams
English 1010
December 7, 2012
The N-Word: From Then to Now Since the times of slavery in America, the N-word continues to hold a powerful impact on the way people intentionally and mistakenly use it. Many do not understand the content of the word as it used in several literary works. The N-word creates a setting that conveys the message of how Caucasians have deliberately insulted African-Americans, mainly to show that there was no point of respecting them prior or even post-Civil War. The white race felt more superior; they felt we, as African Americans, did not deserve respect. A classical piece of American literature, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”, is now a critic’s target for using the N-word as an indelible part of the American lexicon. How will our times ever improve for the future if it prohibits us to learn from the past? Today, African Americans are no longer enslaved. This story allows readers to get the feel of what conditions were during the 1800s. Racism and discrimination are real; they are a part of national history. Historical masterpieces need to be exposed and uncensored because they show how things really happened and were seen. According to Alan Gribben, “Race matters in these books. It is a matter of how you express that in the 21st century” (Schultz 6). A percentage of African Americans may be bothered by the amount of hatred compiled with the use of the N-word in “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”. It should not be a road block hindering the amount of progress African Americans have made thus far or to come. Controversy over replacing the N-word with slave has created much chaos not only in society but also in the publication of Mark Twain‘s work. There are over 30 different editions of his book which have diluted the original copy. Furthermore, the editions have crushed the entire message he was initially trying to convey. Many Americans feel that the removal of the N-word from “The Adventures of



Cited: Cepeda, Raquel. "The N-Word is Flourishing Among Generation Hip-Hop Latinos." The Village Voice Music. N.p., 22 Oct. 2008. Web. 27 Nov. 2012. "Does the N Word Belong in Hip-Hop." HipHopCity. The College Magazine, Jan. 2011. Web. 27 Nov. 2012. Everhart, Kara. Personal Interview. 26 Nov. 2012. Hutchinson, Earl, perf. Publishing Company to Revise "Huck Finn". MSNBC, 2011. "Jay-Z downplays the use of the N-word." UPI. UPI, 26 Sept. 2009. Web. 27 Nov. 2012 Schultz, Marc The N Word Being Censored. 2011. YouTube. Video. 27 Nov. 2012. Thomas, Ashley. Personal Interview. 26 Nov. 2012. Watkins, Boyce, Michela Davis, and Andre Perry, perf. Rewriting Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer. 2011. Video. 27 Nov. 2012. White, Jackie E. "Dealing with the N word." TIME. Time Inc., 21 Jan. 2002. Google. Web. 27 Nov. 2012.

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