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Race Unwrapped: Who gets to use all the letters of the n-word?

Mindy Fulner

“How come I don’t get to say the word n……”

That’s the sound of the forever question in American society about why white people can’t use the n-word. 

Like mosquito bites in summer that you forget about in January, there is always some public controversy or private party chatter about why THAT word is straight-up off limits. 

On this episode, I talk with University of Kentucky English and African and African American Studies Professor Regina Hamilton-Townsend. We unwrap how the actual n-word — whether it ends with a hard “er” or the soft “a”  — is not a word that should be coming out of the mouths of white people. 

Listen to the podcast:


Michelle Tyrene Johnson is the Associate Producer for WFPL's "In Conversation" talk show and hosts the podcast "Race Unwrapped." Email Michelle at mjohnson@lpm.org.

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