I fought long and hard and often for the word “Nigga” to be used exclusively between Black people only, as a term of endearment that symbolized our power as a community to take something that originated in pure hatred, and make it into something positive.
We failed. The word has now become a glorified symbol of being cool and urban. It is used more frequently by non-Blacks and still is associated with the stereotype of its original meaning which is that African people are beneath humans, delinquent and unintelligent.
My argument has always been that only Black people should use it. Other Black people defended other nationalities using it. And I’ve gone back & forth fighting to keep it between us.
But on the internet recently, began a slew of memes (comical photographs with a caption) that begin with “Niggas be like..”. Some of these memes are blatantly racist. For instance, there is one of a dark night, with houses lit by dim yellow lights. The caption reads “Dark Skinned Niggas Be Like…”
I found these memes on Black peoples pages via Instagram. Shortly after, they were being regrammed by non-Blacks. I missed the joke. The reason why, is because I don’t find humor in making a mockery of my heritage.
Following this, I saw Madonna’s IG post about her son with the caption: “Dis Nigga” and Nicki Minaj’s artwork for her single which features a famous photo of Malcolm X looking out of a window holding a gun, with the caption: “Lookin ass Nigga”.
I decided before these posts that I would no longer use this word to describe myself or my fellow Black people (or anyone). But after seeing them, I was very happy that I did. The main reason, is because I’m not a Nigga. I’m not beneath human. I’m not a delinquent. I’m not unintelligent. On the contrary, I understand that my heritage is rich in culture, and pride. We are also full of intelligence, a unique creativity and passion. These years of Americanized culture and lack of knowledge have actually lead us to believe that we are cool for redirecting the energy of the word, but instead we are simply reiterating it’s original meaning and promoting it blindly.
I’m a queen. I carry myself with elegance, integrity and pride. I lead my fellow humans as much as I possibly can by sharing my life, knowledge & pain in hopes that they too will become leaders, and not empty followers. I support independent businesses. I support the environment. I’m pro life. I’m pro humanitarian. I am educated and open minded. I no longer believe in Niggas. Instead, I think that Africans in America are afraid and insecure, just as I have been, to proudly call themselves something positive. Everything about us to the world carries a negative connotation. How can we have this confidence? On television, we’re constantly portrayed as loose, ignorant, loud, classless, materialistic, shallow, and uneducated. In music, we are lacking any real content. Our movies are limited to redundant love stories, buffoonery or slave theatrics. Our athletes are required to portray the perfect Christian male, in submission and without human error. We grow up often in poor areas where our outlets are minimal, and violence and poverty are inevitable. The world is designed to keep Black people and most people of color, out of a position to FEEL like they ARE more than Niggas. We are placed in a jungle and its very hard to find our royalty and our value.
The irony is that there are plenty of Black people in America, who don’t fit this description. Who are trying to change those circumstances. But in order for that revolutionary mindset to be allowed in a mainstream way, every big business would lose. We are not this way because we are actually inferior. We are this way because this was planned to keep the hierarchy in check. Our culture has been demonized from our hair, to our skin, to our curves, to our language, to the way we speak, to our cultural traditions, to our royal beginnings and beyond. And recently, we have exploited every piece of pride we have in exchange for money and fame because we are constantly lead to believe that these two elements make up happiness in its entirety. We are NOT Niggas, and we never have been. That word and the way we were treated was designed to make us feel like we are.
Therefore, I will no longer address anyone by that name nor will I glorify or perpetuate that in my language or behavior. I ask all my people of color to raise your crowns. You are not the scum on someone’s shoe. Your history is deep and beautiful. You come from a lineage of intelligence, creative, divine and pure greatness. Let the racist people who invented that bullshit, keep it and dwell on it. I am not a Nigga. You are not a Nigga. We are Brothers & Sisters. Kings & Queens. Man & Woman. Address yourself as such.
What do you think?