Why do some African-Americans believe that we have to “take back” the n-word? You can only reclaim what was yours to begin with. The n-word was never ours. It has only been used to subjugate us and strip us of our humanity. What self-respecting person would want to claim that poison?
Instead of claiming what was intended to demean us, why don’t we take back what was ours, namely our hair? African-Americans have let go of our hair, to the point that most of us don’t even know what our own natural hair looks like. We, and the rest of America for that matter, think that straight hair is normal for everyone, and view our own natural curls as strange and unusual. More critically, not only have we abandoned our own hair, we readily express contempt for it, calling it dirty and “nappy.” Why don’t African-Americans take back our hair?
Why don’t we reclaim our skin? Instead of using terms like “redbones” and delivering backhanded compliments to each other such as “You’re pretty for a dark skinned girl,” why don’t we celebrate our dark hues?
If we only strived to take these things back, rather than racial slurs, we would make more progress.