Annotated Bibliography




The rise of the n word in pop culture within recent decades has come with loads of controversy. Who isn’t allowed to use it? Is it still a racial slur against Black people if it’s being used by Black people? Conversations on the issue involving the usage of the N word has left the inner-city urban dinner table in urban and into the debate segments on news networks like CNN and also in the journals of scholars from a diverse range of professional backgrounds creating their own observations about the N-Word. My goal for this project is to offer an alternative ideology as opposed to the cliche white or black approach and to express that interpretations of the N-word, emotions caused by the N-word and the use of the N-word areallshaped by a sociocultural experience.

Allan, K. (2015). When is a slur not a slur? The use of nigger in ‘Pulp Fiction’. Language Sciences, 52(Slurs), 187-199. doi:10.1016/j.langsci.2015.03.001

    Dr. Keith Allan is white male author and linguist from London,U.K. Allan has accumulated degrees that further prove he is knowledgeable in the study of language. He has also earned his title as Emeritus Professor at Monash University in Victoria, Australia. Professor Allan’s thesis agrees with the standpoint that the N word can be used as a racial slur, but he too stands form in in his belief that applied connotations along with the identity of the person using the word contributes to both how the word perceived and how it

Within the text, the author analyzes the contextual use of the word within a film named “Pulp Fiction”

The author wants to express to his audience that the N word does not have one indefinite meaning, and that the semantics of the word evolve with relation to context and the social connotations placed on the word uttered by it’s user. In my opinion, the intended audience are people who believe that the N word should not be said regardless of who uses it and those who feel as if the word is demeaning when said by non-Black persons regardless of  context. I feel that this article is extremely  useful in terms of developing ethos within my etymology.


   The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.  “The Bill of Rights: A Transcription”: National Archives and Records Administration. Last Reviewed June 26,2017.  Publisher: National Archives and Records Administration. Date Accessed: September 25, 2017

The author of the Bill of Rights is founding father James Madison. James Madison authored the Bill of Right to ensure the that American citizens had a list of rights institutionalized within fundamental law to protect them against oppression from the federal government.  Within the text is the first amendment that decrees freedom of speech, expression, and religion without persecution from the government. The proposers of the Bill of Rights wanted not only Americans to understand that it  is the duties of the government to protect their rights, but to influence foreign nations to adopt the same principles. The U.S. government, citizens, and the entire world could possibly be considered an audience. This source could be used to my advantage when introducing counter arguments in opposition to the definitive claim of “free speech” when using the N-word.

Motley, C., & Craig-Henderson, K. (2007). Epithet or Endearment?: Examining Reactions among Those of the African Diaspora to an Ethnic Epithet. Journal of Black Studies, 37(6), 944-963. Retrieved from

Author Carol M. Motley is Black female Associate Professor Marketing  for the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the other author Dr. Kellina M. Craig-Henderson is a former Professor of Psychology who currently serves as “..Deputy Assistant Director for the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate of the National Science Foundation..” according to the National Science Foundation. According to Journal of Black Studies page 948, “..the meaning or offensiveness of ethnic epithet is likely to vary according to cultural context in which it is used.”. This now extends the conflict regarding the usage of the N-Word among the many different groups of Black of people. Within the text, the authors constantly refer to several studies from other scholars and researches which in my opinions strengthens their ethos. Through the constant references to the materials of other scholars, I was able to conclude that the purpose of the text is to introduce a new perspective into the N-Word controversy that addresses its usage by members of the Black Diaspora who are not accustomed to American culture. This is reflected in the article on page 951 titled Multiple Meanings and Emotional Responses when author Motley Craig-Henderson claims, “..the interpretation of words and symbols is culturally derived.”. From all of the observations, I am able to assume that the intended audience is Black people (without regard to a specific culture). This is useful in assisting me with further knowledge of the topic because I finally have a source from a person of color perspective.


Leora F., E. (2012). The N-Word at Work: Contextualizing Language in the Workplace. Berkeley Journal Of Employment And Labor Law, (2), 299.

Author Leora Eisenstadt is a Caucasian  female assistant Professor in the department of Legal Studies sector of Fox School of Business at Temple University. On page 311 of  The N-Word At Work, the author implies that, “The primary factor in determining whether use of the slur will be acceptable or met with outrage or even violence is the context of the use, including the racial identity of the speaker.”. Within the text, the author provides a series of “cases” that subsequently support her claim that the race of the speaker plays a determining role in the interpretation of the N-word.  In my opinion the author’s purpose for writing this text is to assert like many other authors that there are multiple reasons for determining if the usage of the N-word which could possibly serve as informational text to non-black persons. When it comes to understanding the issue, I feel that the cases presented within the text serve as a reminder that the controversy surrounding the N-word is more than a exchange of rhetoric of what is morally correct and what is not. This controversy is one that leaves the dinner tables and affects the lives of people who use the N-word in professional spaces and are oblivious to the repercussions.

Washington Post. “The n-Word through History.” YouTube, YouTube, 9 Jan. 2015,

In the link posted above is a link to a Youtube upload by the Washington Post depicting both the usage of the N-word in its initial context and its modern usage in pop culture. This video serves as a timeline that provides insight as to why the word now can be used and interpreted entirely different than it would prior  to the 60’s when used by “ingroup” members.The intended audience of the video would be older generations both black and white, and those unfamiliar with U.S. history as it pertains to minority struggle. I found this video to be extremely useful in visually exemplifying the modern cultural ties between the N-word and Black Americans. This video provides sufficient ethos through its multiple mentions of Popular Black artists with strong ties to the N-word. It reinforces the idea that usage of the N-word by Black Americans is more so a claim to their own oppression and retaining the right to express that oppression by their own means and not that of their oppressors.