Customer Reviews: The N Word
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on January 27, 2006
Hip-hop stars and top entertainers weigh in on one of the most controversal words in the history of language. The N Word is now available on DVD. The "N" word, depending on who says it, can be a term of endearment or a derogatory word. Basically, that is what the film The N Word is about. Entertainers discuss the word. Various entertainers discuss when they were called the N word in the first segment of the film. Up for discussion is also the history of the word. Another interesting subject brought up is whether it's okay for white people to use the friend in a friendly tone. For example, if two black teens call themselves the N word in jest, is it okay for their white friend to use the N Word?

A lot of top talent was tapped for this project.

On the acting side, Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Rock, Jasmine Guy, Cree Summers, Nia Long, Samuel L Jackson, Richard Pryor, Regina King,

On the directing side Brett Ratner, Ice Cube and John Singleton are featured in the film.

On the music side Cee Lo Green, Damon Dash, Ice Cube, Talib Kweli, Quincy Jones, and more.

In addition to the entertainers who participate in the film, many respected educators contribute their insite.

The N Word is a great film and it would be perfect to use in an educational setting. The film includes a great deal of historical film footage.
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VINE VOICEon February 5, 2006
This is one of the best documentaries I've ever watched, and one of the most powerful. It is an exploration of the `N' word, and all the power, hurt, and connotations it has. Most of Hollywood and some of the music community offers their views on the word- when to use it, when not to, who to use it with. But this movie is so much more than that.

It sounds way to much like an after school special to say that this movie will open up a dialogue between you and anyone you watch it with, or explain it to. Yes, this is the case with this film. Once the subject is breeched- and this is the perfect icebreaker to do it with- then you and others can start talking about what this word means to them and how it has impacted them or those they love. Everyone has something to say about it. So listen and learn. It's powerful in a very magical way.

Just don't watch the film and expect easy answers on race or community issues, but do watch the movie and expect to have a very thought provoking experience.

Recommended for everyone, but parents might want to screen this movie before watching it with young children as it has adult subjects and language.

But watch this movie, then watch it with those you love. You'll be glad you did. Talking about these issues is the only way to solve anything.
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on June 13, 2009
This documentary addresses the inflammatory nature of the n-word, but it also includes interviews with many people who find it an acceptable and loving way to greet a friend. I appreciate the film because it does not attempt to speak for the black community and come down on just one side of the issue. Rather, it educates the viewer on the history of the word and its present usage.

The N-Word is a great film for young people to see, although with clips from Richard Pryor's routines, there is a lot of swearing and some pretty raunchy sexual humor. Frankly, though, the average teen who uses the n-word in daily conversation has heard much worse. Many noteworthy members of the black community weigh in on the issue, including Samuel L Jackson, Whoopi Goldberg, Russell Simmons, and Chris Rock, as well as several hip-hop personalities, scholars, and social activists. Whites, Asians, and Hispanics are also given a voice.

Whatever your race and view of the n-word, you will have to consider an alternative point of view--and isn't that what a good documentary asks us to do?
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this is the kind of film that will have a healthy discussion on the usuage of the word. it goes back through the history of time in the findings&usage of the word through the years&how it was used.Richard Pryor truly made it Powerful,but also he himself upon going on a trip to Africa den-nounced never went away,but it got re-named&brought has different meanings to different people depends on who you talk to.this film will have you talking&then you have to make up your mind where you stand on the use of the word. but this is the kind of film that is a must see for all people to me.
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on July 27, 2012
This is a very informative video and useful as a springboard to talk about racial issues in the classroom, however teachers beware that it has a rap video scene with naked women that your students will be shocked by, so you should definitely preview it first and make sure that you skip past that part when showing it to your students. Otherwise, it is definitely a very worthwhile video to show, and will help students open up about this controversial topic.
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on April 2, 2008
I saw this in my Social Problems class, when we were discussing race and ethnicity. The use of "nigger" was used an excessive amount of time, surely to get the point across, however I just found it annoying. A bit long, but informational and midley entertaining. I would recommend renting this on NetFlixs rather than purchasing the movie. Good for a college classroom because it leads to good conversation among students.
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on April 5, 2009
The Almighty N word. Never before has a simple connection of letters carried such an immense variation in meaning, context, or effect. This is an interesting investigation of the most controversial taboo word ever conjoured up. Over the course of the past two decades, it has lost much of its raw biting power.

You can credit much of that to the immortal gangsta rap group N.W.A. In the early 90's, their liberal use of the word partially redefined its context, turning it from a negative term to a positive one.

Actually the N word might have began to lose its edge a few years prior to that, courtesy of Comedic God Richard Pryor. His frequent use of the word caused a vast wave of reactions.

Today the N word is prevalent in music and movies, and its offensive nature has been diluted. It's been transformed more into a word of affection. BUT, it still carries a long history of racism and deragotory usage that is not easy to disregard.

All of this is discussed thoroughly in this documentary. Hear Chris Rock, Samuel Jackson, George Carlin, Ice Cube, Michael Rappaport, Whoppi Goldberg and other celebrities give their take. You might be surprised by some of their opinions.

I think the bottom line is this--the N word still carries power. No overusage of the word will totally seperate it from its earlier attachment to racism, slavery, and inferiority. Even though social gaps will continue to disintegrate as ignorance and hatred get flushed away, its harsh deragotory roots are not easily disregarded.

This DVD is an excellent conversation starter.
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on March 3, 2013
Okaaay folks, I will start the discussion with this. The N-Word is an American Concept For Reality--no more and no less than GOD, as god, or MOTHER, for motherhood and so on with our concepts like: FREE, EQUAL and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.

I am one from the African American Lineage who have decided years ago to step out of ''ethnic boxes'' before I die and join in the greatest value system in my midst--and that be---Mainstream America-- where American values and concepts for truth and being are born. But in order to participate in all that I must first be an American--fully-fledged and fully-engaged. It works best if I'm not fixated and limited to a 'ethnicity'.

THE N-WORD WAS CREATED IN OUR COUNTRY--it goes into the epic and period known as THE ERA OF RACISM & RACIST VALUES. Most of us know that now--so why is the n-word still a part of our reality aside from the fact it has made some people millions of dollars--but then--the word "whutz-up" has been used in billion-dollar campaigns, as well. But still the smell and feel of that pungent word still sticks to our consciousness and being. TO BE AN AMERICAN is to accept the fact that the n-word will be blight on your consciousness. It cuts deep into our American souls but this period is the first time the AfricanAmerican-lineage males are using it freely to make money, to curse at America, and feel its power and its blight. THIS, I SAY, IS A NORMAL DEVELOPMENT.

Basically it goes like this folks--You Can't Rape People's Souls For Centuries and when you get tired of doing it you want to get up and go on without them ever saying a word about it. The N-Word is still in the heart and souls of every officer who stops a Black Man Walking.

But my last comment on this word is this: THERE IS NOW A FULL-BLOWN CULTURE IN U.S. CITIES that finds the depth of the meaning of the N-word somehow "sexy" and "powerful" and "loving" and "connective"--somewhat like an "ethnicity" that connects one to the other and there is no shame in these people's proclaimation for this identity--and all of them are NOT dark-hued. They come in all hues and incomes and backgrounds. They just like the feel of being the N-word.
---Margaret Opine
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on February 7, 2008
Good idea to hear people trying to justify this vile term. It's a shame that so many just don't get it. There can never be anything positive about this word. And one of the subjects, after doing all he can to make the term seem harmless, has to admit that if a white person called him that he would feel some kind of way. In the words of Spike Lee 'WAKE UP!'
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on March 13, 2006
The film immediately bought me into a new and unique way to look at the profound and divisive effects of just one word. The film helped me to experience a set of painful feelings that I had previously not shared. The broad number of people saying the N word in such various context was a very creative way to help outsiders become insiders to the feelings caused by that word. Congratulations to the writer and director!
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