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Vintage

Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word

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Randall Kennedy takes on not just a word, but our laws, attitudes, and culture with bracing courage and intelligence--with a range of reference that extends from the Jim Crow south to Chris Rock routines and the O. J. Simpson trial.

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?

Author: Randall Kennedy
Publisher: Vintage
Published: 01/14/2003
Pages: 208
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.49lbs
Size: 8.03h x 5.21w x 0.57d
ISBN: 9780375713712

Accelerated Reader:
Reading Level: 11.2
Point Value: 8
Interest Level: Upper Grade
Quiz #/Name: 69661 / Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word

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.