The N Word by Jabari Asim
Who Can Say It, Who Shouldn't, and Why

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 3 Critic Reviews



The debate over the N word touches almost every aspect of American popular culture. Does it ever have an appropriate place in the media? Are rappers justified in using it? Should Huckleberry Finn, which repeats it 215 times, be taught in high school?
As the cultural critic Jabari Asim explains, none of these questions can be addressed effectively without a clear knowledge of the word’s bitter legacy. Here he draws on a wide range of examples from science, politics, the arts, and more to reveal how the slur has both reflected and spread the scourge of bigotry in America over the last four hundred years. He examines the contributions of such well-known figures as Thomas Jefferson and Mark Twain, W.E.B. Du Bois and Margaret Mitchell, Dave Chappelle and NWA. Through this history, Asim shows how completely our national psyche is affected by the use of the word, and why it’s such a flashpoint today.

About Jabari Asim

See more books from this Author
Jabari Asim is the author of the critically acclaimed The N Word. He is editor-in-chief of The Crisis—the magazine of the NAACP—and former editor at and frequent contributor to the Washington Post, and his writing has appeared on and in Essence, the Los Angeles Times, and other publications. He divides his time between Maryland and Illinois with his wife and five children.
Published August 4, 2008 by Mariner Books. 300 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Science & Math. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The N Word

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

But Asim has harsh words for gangsta rappers whose language, he argues, “often abets a white supremacist agenda.” Blacks’ amiable usage of the word with one another, he believes, will delay its deserved demise.

Apr 18 2007 | Read Full Review of The N Word: Who Can Say It, W...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Midway through Washington Post columnist Asim's history of the "N" word in America, readers may conclude it should not be uttered by anyone, anymore, for any reason.

| Read Full Review of The N Word: Who Can Say It, W...

The use of the word, even then, evoked what the word still evokes today: the demeaning treatment of blacks and white supremacy.

May 27 2007 | Read Full Review of The N Word: Who Can Say It, W...

Reader Rating for The N Word

An aggregated and normalized score based on 16 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review