Richard Pryor and other famous African-Americans have tried to desensitize it, but the N-word still carries hate. When I listen to today’s music, the N-word flows continuously. Jay-Z, one of my favorite rappers, says he uses the word to undermine its power over African-Americans. But in my house, my mother has one rule: Don’t say a word you wouldn’t feel comfortable saying to Malcolm X or Martin Luther King Jr., even if you are trying to undermine its power.
If my mother stood in the hallway at my school listening to my . . .
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