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The N Word


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About the Author

JABARI ASIM is the editor in chief of The Crisis, the NAACP's flagship publication. For the previous eleven years he was an editor at the Washington Post Book World. His writing has appeared in Essence, Salon, the Los Angeles Times, the Village Voice, the Hungry Mind Review, Emerge, and elsewhere. He lives in Maryland.


The aftermath of radio personality Don Imus's verbal assault on the Rutgers University women's basketball team graphically illustrates the life-altering power of words. Washington Post editor and syndicated columnist Asim examines one of the most powerful words in the American lexicon. He continues the discussion begun by Harvard law professor Randall Kennedy in his 2003 book Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word. The author's approach is balanced as he discusses the connotation of the "N" word in both black self-hatred and racist applications. Narrator Mirron E. Willis's smooth, articulate reading complements Asim's text as he chronicles the historical, political, social, and linguistic use of the epithet without being pedantic. Asim's hypothesis on who should and shouldn't use the term will undoubtedly remain a topic for debate, fueled in part by discussions of this book. Recommended for most adult libraries.-Gwendolyn Osborne, Evanston, IL Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

"This important new book sheds light on questions that have long gone unanswered. . .Every home should have it." --E. Lynn Harris, author of I Say A Little Prayer
"In The N Word, we just might have the definitive word on the essence of power and subordination in America." --Christopher Benson, coauthor of Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime That Changed America
"Jabari Asim persuasively explains why the N word remains a slur and a symbol of inequality." --Mary Frances Berry, Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought and Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania

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