Talk show host Sherri Shepard believes the use of the n-word is okay for African Americans to use, but not white folk. She told Essence.com why she defends the use of it.
“That word brings up so many issues with everybody. I have Black friends who hate the word and don’t want it used. I respect those friends, and I don’t use the word around them. However, this is a word that was in my family.
When my uncle played dominos and spades, I heard it used in the utmost of affection. My mother used this word with my father, and my cousin used to say it at our family reunions. I also heard it when I moved to the suburbs in Chicago, and it was used very negatively towards me by white people. To hear a white person say it just brings back those negative feelings.”
She continues, “The power was taken out of the word, and I know where it comes from. I respect Richard Pryor for deciding not to use it after he returned from his trip to Africa. For me, this word was just a fun word attached to some wonderful memories of people in my family.”