Noelle Lorraine Williams |The word nigger is a fantastical – mainly because unlike many other words it has various coexisting story keepers, existing in multiple temporal states. These various emotional memories imagine our deepest human emotions and needs: an expression of kinship and abject isolation and dehumanization.
These socio- cultural emotions are what comprise our stories, realities. I attended a workshop called the “Writer’s Responsibility” in Newark, NJ Dr. Akil Khalfani quoted Morrison in stating that a cultural belief or myth is not one unless “hordes of anonymous people believe in that myth.”
Your piece straddles these anonymous hordes of people into one mix. What did you feel was at risk if you did not do the project? What was your sense of urgency in creating the piece?
Michael Paul Britto |The only risk I felt was for my life, because I was going to be using the “N” word so many times in one place! No, but seriously, I felt that something like “This Little Word Of Mine” had to be done. The issue of this word is everywhere, everyday and I believe we (BlackFolk) are responsible for its overuse. My sense of urgency came from all the latest incidents in the media regarding the so called “Misuse” of the word by several high profile people in the media, and the public reaction to it. I wanted to point out how common the use of the word is in mainstream media ( Music, Movies, etc.), and get people to think about what they see and hear everyday.