If you could choose one word to represent the centuries of bondage, the decades of terrorism, the long days of mass rape, the totality of white violence that birthed the black race in America, it would be “nigger.”     

Ta-Nehesi Coates wrote this in a New York Times oped piece on November 24, “In Defense of a Loaded Word.” He is a senior editor at The Atlantic and the author of the memoir “The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood.”

Coates summarizes: “Nigger” is the border, the signpost that reminds us that the old crimes don’t disappear. It tells white people that, for all their guns and all their gold, there will always be places they can never go.

 Click here to read the rest of this thought-provoking essay, which we can consider a followup to the workshop by Dr. Eddie Moore.       

Thanks to Don Stryker, one of the participants in the December 2 Continuing Conversations on Race, for bringing this to our attention.