Actor Joseph Phillips Discovers The International Legacy Of American Black Culture – Zimbabwe Teens Call Each Other “Nigger”

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Zimbabwe American Style

During my recent visit to Zimbabwe, I had the privilege of visiting a vocational school for at risk kids located in Chitungwiza, a large city neighboring the capital city of Harare. I traveled to Harare to perform in a production of the new play, “The Blue Door.” The play, by Tanya Barfield, examines the Black double consciousness – the struggle for self-definition while treading the waters of history. While enjoying a break from rehearsal, our small company of actors was invited to tour the school and speak to the students…

… from the blog of Actor Joseph C. Phillips (continue reading here)

More and more frequently than before, I wonder what Barbados would be like without the influence of our most powerful neighbour to the north.

God help the man who ever calls me “nigger” even in friendly talk between people of dark skin.

27 Comments

Filed under Africa, Barbados, Culture & Race Issues

27 responses to “Actor Joseph Phillips Discovers The International Legacy Of American Black Culture – Zimbabwe Teens Call Each Other “Nigger”

  1. Yo, nigga!

    oh you’re so ‘SENSITIVE’ – like Michael Jackson!
    you poor thing!

    I hear the niggers at work calling each other ‘nigger’ all the time, and it goes down like Big Deal!

    In fact, I’m a white Bajan, but I am also SO cool wid dem, that I too am allowed to call dem Dat, which you probably find hard to believe, but it’s true.

    It’s quite funny,actually, they reckon I’m truly black, but just have a big ole white birthmark that covers most of my body!! I’m honoured by the attitude.

    It’s THAT cool, at my workplace,
    so WHAT are YOU so stirred up about?????
    You’ a brother,man!!

  2. Old Timer

    Yo, Nigga!

    I am a mixed-race Bajan and I find you offensive and downright ignorant. I won’t even waste time telling you what your “nigga” workmates should call you.

  3. DFX

    I think that I like Redd Foxx’s take on the term “nigger”. He said that the term “nigger” is defined as a lazy person. And that he knows a lot of white niggers.

    Then there is Chris Rock. He said that white people and black people are the same. White people like the party, black people like to party. Problem is that white people and black people are having fun at their party and then some “nigger” with a gun comes and messes it up.

    I personally think that the term is offensive and that people using it in slang is a sad sign that they lack self-respect.

    “God help the man who ever calls me “nigger” even in friendly talk between people of dark skin.” If I’m there when this happens I’ll swear before the court you never touched the guy, he must have fallen down the steps 😉

    If I can’t show that I respect myself NOBODY will ever respect me.

    Peace

    DFX

  4. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Barbados: Influence of America

  5. Chase

    DFX:

    Had a blast at the pub quiz last night….didnt see or hear anyone asking for us so I take it you didnt make it.
    Oh well there will be other times I guess.

  6. Yo, nigga!

    I once met a Dictionary that gave the definition as (read it carefully,ppl)
    __ A LAZY AND SHIFTLESS PERSON __

    (that would escribe DFX’s guy with a gun, at the B&W party?)

    – and I think that should be the real definition…. a lazy and shiftless person,
    suffering from “Ethnic Fatigue” after lunch.

    Can’t call it ‘niggeritis’ any more, you know,
    that’s not cool!
    they get offended,somehow, I’m told.

    Doesn’t matter to me one little bit if they hail ME as ‘Niggah!’ at work.
    but then I was born white and know how to handle it (laugh) – I treat it as something of a compliment, to my ability to get along and to assimilate!
    can u say that??

    I don’t take my self too seriously, although most Bajans do – after all Barbados is the exact Centre of The Universe!

    We are a nation of people in need of a National Psychologist, for the entire nation!
    – there are many “issues”, many of them imagined and contrived.
    If being called the N-word will erupt you into untold violence,
    what would you do if someone called you HONKY?? – Kill yourself?

  7. DFX

    Chase,

    The little one has had a really bad cold and cough since last week and I was caught with taking care of him and fell asleep. But my Visa has been approved and is stamped in the passport for any Tuesday or Friday night.

    Just got home from picking him up from school and he sounds like an old broken down truck thanks to the smoke from that fire today. But I get a half day off 😉

    Take care

    DFX

  8. cat eyes

    I am a black person who grew up in a village where people, including my grandmother, would address young men as “nigga man.” “Look, tell dat nigga man to get in de house!” When we eat and feel sleepy after eating, we say we are suffering from “niggeritis.” Nigger is offensive when used in a degrading or obscene context, and specifically when white people call black people “nigger” when cussing them. I find that in the US it is a big deal when a white person calls you nigger, but Blacks use the word to each other, sometimes as a term of endearment and it is no big deal. So Black people, let us stop the hypocrisy and be honest.

  9. Ahh! enlightenment!

    “but Blacks use the word to each other, sometimes as a term of endearment
    and it is no big deal.”

    Thank you.

  10. True Native

    Wunna all best be careful Comic-Song and the Tickle Safari white kid who is black (or is it black kid who is white?) don’t come on here and mash wunna all up.

  11. Observer

    Man! if people are using that term in Barbados for style I think they are a bit dated here since Blacks Whites Asians & Indians in the US and a good few other countries now, use the term “Dawg” (also used by women) as a term of endearment around males not to mention the terming of females as “Bitches”.

    A whole new topic for debate, which now involves all races degrading themselves to the level of Animals.

    At least it’s better than the “N” word. Thank God that’s over.

  12. GetDown!

    Dawg? – oh you mean ‘Shine’,
    de guy whose job it is to clean out the workshop!

    Yeah he cool. we call him Dawg,
    and he answers, cool so.
    he ain’t diggin nein.

  13. Thought he looked familiar, he used to be a Marine on the Cosby show – was a fiance to one of the daughters.

    He should have come to Barbados instead, hopefully his workshop would not charge 60 per person like this guy who’s here to play Paul Robeson!

    The “N” word is awful, whoever uses it – it appears on the Boondocks cartoon all the time, but Aaron MacGruder probably feels about it the same way we do…

    There was a stirring episode as to what if MLK Jr was only comatose and not dead? He came out of the coma by ’98 and his nonviolent attitude did not sit well with militant USA during 9/11, but in the end he prevailed when he actually stunned Afro Americans by using it and slamming BET, etc.

    It created a new Civil Rights Movement and a new party, Oprah was elected Prez in the year 2020, MLK Jr died in Vancouver at the age of 91 – I think Boondocks is required education…

  14. wolfie

    Oprah for prez? We could as well have one of the teletubbies!

  15. light

    Yo Nigga! or should I say Honkey, how about white trash or maybe even redneck, can I call you that? because if it’s cool for u, and the straight up niggas at your work place to use this disrespectful term, then you should educate them on all the disrespectful words used to describe whites, aren’t there cool? Wouldn’t it be great if everyone came into your workplace and hail each other up, with Yo white trash, how was your weekend my honky friend? Just great, don’t you think? 🙂

    ru for real, I find your comments totally offensive, how dare u!!! u and the others at your work place are not that cool, you all are fools.

    Roll up in my face with that sort of talk an I will not get a day for your sorry behind.

  16. DFX

    Sad note. Did anybody here notice that MLK Jr.’s daughter died yesterday at the age of 51?

    R.I.P Yolanda

    DFX

  17. Anonymous

    Actually growing up in Barbados I was often called red legs, honkey etc….
    You think it is only one way? Not so.

    I think any of this crap is disgusting I don’t get involved in that.

  18. To correct Mr.Bourne his character was in fact a U.S. Naval Officer the rank of lieutenant which means that he served on board a ship whilst a marine is the land based infantry aspect of the navy.

  19. Canuck Man

    I can tell you that I’m brown and in light of how it is that some black people address each other as nigger but disapprove of non-blacks saying it then I feel that when neccesary brown people can address each other as brownies and for non-browns it shouldn’t be there place to say it.In fact I made statements such as “What are you looking at?Brownie?” including “You’s a brownie”

  20. Canuck Man

    I’m aware that some brown people will disagree with my opinions but they should think to themselves that “Could be worse if non-browns address brown people as brownies”,also, I will agree that if anyone even including dark skinned people using the term “darky” or ”darkie” than it’s gone too far and finally brownie should never be used as a term of endearment by anyone.

  21. Canuck Man

    Though it won’t matter to some but I’ve lately been contemplating that brownie is the known spelling for a type of desert (or dessert) so therefore the word with a similiar pronounciation be spelled as “browney”.Surely you readers must know what the heck I’m getting at .For the record I still feel that non-browns are unjustified in saying “browney”.

  22. Annoyed

    Well I’m white, have been called ‘whitey’ a couple times, can’t say it bothers me, my husband, who’s ‘black’, refers to fellow Bajans as Red, Brown , Dark Skinned, Clear Skin, Black etc.
    There is an area near Bathsheba called ‘Niggers Yard’, I’ve also overheard Bajans calling others Bajans ‘Niggers’ no one seems to mind, I was the one that was shocked!
    Tell me why is it racist for a white person to call a black person ‘black’ but not if a black person calls a white person white………
    Time to get over all this and accept that under the skin colour we’re all the same.

  23. Canuck Man

    At a pizza restauraunt that I frequent in my university town I had a conversation with a former pizza delivery driver who’s a Chinese-Canadian man and at some point he said the ‘n’ word regarding black people and when I remarked to him about him saying the ‘n’ word his reply I believe was “What,they can call me a ‘chink’?” and so therefore he’s the type of person who may attack people who insult his Chinese identity and certainly he’s the type who insists that if black people address him by the ‘c’ word (if you will) then he’ll insist in addressing them by the ‘n’ word.Finally,when he says ‘n’ word his former boss who’s, if no one minds my saying, a Greek-Canadian will reply “shh” for fear that if a possible black customer walks in, he/she might blame the manager for the usage of the ‘n’ word.

  24. Canuck Man

    At a local mall in my university hometown I spoke to a store employee who’s a native of Croatia and before or after I explained to him about some black people in some American films addressing each other by the ‘n’ word but disapproving of non-blacks saying it I decided to ask the Croatian man out of curiosity if Muslims in the former Yugoslavia make demeaning remarks to each other but disapprove of non-Muslims saying it I believe he claimed yes. So how would people ( Muslim or non-Muslim) think about this?

  25. Canuck Man

    I meant to say so how would people(Muslim or non-Muslim) feel about this?

  26. Proudly black

    l see this debate has been streched to its fullest and after reading and obseving most peoples comments l gather that “poor families are more comfortable if someone they consider one of the familiy tells them of their poverty than someone they consider a stranger to even dare say a comment about it.”
    But at the end of the day if you are poor, you are poor, wether a stranger or a close friend says it, you just have to accept or deal with that fact and stop blaming it on the person who said it.
    So simple put if you are black, you are black wether you ague about or not you will still be black and people will still mention that name that offends you wether you like it or not!
    Might as well deal with it coz u will live with it all ur life.
    Tough luck..

  27. Canuck Man

    Less than 2 years ago when my mother & I visited the U.S., we were inside a pharmacy and as I was standing in line to make a purchase I overheard an African-American male remark “I’m a nigger in need of a job” and an African-American female who accompanied him remarked something like “I know you’re a nigger in need of a job” so therefore what are anyone’s thoughts on this matter?