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The N word

The picture below is A copy of what was placed on the wall in my classroom at Peoples High School (now renamed John Finney High School) in Vallejo before my retirement from the work world. It was put there for a reason: To let all of my students know that there was a word, starting with the letter "n," that appeared on the world stage during Europe's pillaging of Africa and the enslavement of its people. The word itself was beat into the backs and minds of black people for more than 300 years. A great brainwashing, perhaps the greatest in the history of world, took place as a result of this. And black people slowly began to accept this word with a great sense of pride, the majority rationalizing and justifying why it's alright to use that word--not clearly understanding that they have accepted some else's definition as to who they are.

I would spend a considerable amount of time trying to teach all of my students to consider calling themselves some of the names listed on my wall, some of the names that I use when identifying myself. I would also plead with them "To allow the "n" word to die a silent death." In fact, that statement was placed in the upper far-left hand corner of my classroom. Furthermore, the use of that word was banned from my room. What choice did they have upon entering my classroom? They had none! Not only that, but every student at my school knew of my position on that infamous “n” word.

More than 50 years ago, I did remove that word from both my external and internal vocabulary. I have not, however removed that word from my historic memory bank. For I know from where that word originated, and how it was used to physically and mentally enslave people of African descent. At the end of all of my lectures on the "n" word, I would conclude with the following statements listed below:

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