Bestselling author Ta-Nehisi Coates answers an audience question about the power and ownership of words at the Family Action Network event with Evanston Township High School while on tour for his newest book, ‘We Were Eight Years In Power.’
The lesson came when a White audience member asked about the n-word. She mentioned being at a Lil Uzi Vert concert at Northwestern University, where he used the n-word “profusely” and the university sent out a notice telling White students not to say it, too. She seemed confused as to how to handle this. Coates expertly broke it down for the audience, using the notion that likens the n-word to a family nickname or a pet name that a significant other uses. Outsiders generally are discouraged from using these names with the person. It makes perfect sense. Hopefully, now White folks can stop asking about it.
View Coates’ lecture below: