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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: East Bay | Racial Justice
Exposing the Misconception of the "N" Word
"MY NEEG'-ER: Healing the Ontological Wound of the "N" Word is a recently published book by Caliph Zaphnathpaaneah El that deals with the origins and history of the "N" word.
Feb. 5, 2014 - OAKLAND, Calif. -- Caliph Zaphnathpaaneah El, is the author of a new, controversial book, "MY NEEGER: Healing the Ontological Wound of the "N" Word.” A pastor with 30 years of experience in the Black church, he is currently teaching the origin and history of the “N” word as a guest instructor at Laney Community College in Oakland, CA. Dr. Robert L. McKnight, Sr., adjunct professor of African American Studies at Merritt and Laney Colleges thought the book was an important contribution to African American history and invited Caliph to share his knowledge in the "Religion and the African American Church in America" class.
The intent of Caliph's book, "MY NEEG'-ER," is to bring about awareness and restore a biblical identity to a people who are the only people in the history of mankind whose identity the world has concealed. According to Caliph, it is time to challenge the assigned meaning of the word "NEEG'-ER" for two reasons: 1) It has been used to place a particular people in a singular distinct classification as the only people on the planet with a given identity that is false, and 2) It has been used as a weapon in the pseudo speciation, demoralization, stigmatization, and dehumanization of a people.
Caliph states, "I refuse to allow the oppressor, whom our ancestors taught to read and write, take a word that meant divinity, royalty or nobility in the Hebrew and Amharic languages, redefine it to refer to us as a socially inferior class, and use it to create psychological fear in our minds, regardless of the pain of that oppression. I refuse to surrender to self-hatred, hatred of my own people, and hatred of the oppressor by being afraid to face the “N” word. I resolve to teach all, who are willing to listen, the true meaning of the word, NEEG’-ER – divinity, royalty, nobility!
I choose to love my neighbor/oppressor as I love myself. I choose to love my enemy, and not relinquish my power to love even in the face of a million midnights of abuse. I resolve that my love will never be conquered; therefore, I am a king, I am divine, and I am a NEEG’-ER!
What will we do next? Rename Nigeria and Niger, which are also variants of the root letters ‘N G R’? These words originated in the rich African languages of our ancestors and they mean divinity and royalty period!
Be it therefore resolved that even the abyss of ten million midnights together will not extinguish the light of my love!"
Caliph Zaphnathpaaneah El, Author, MY NEEG’-ER: Healing the Ontological Wound of the “N” Word (available at amazon.com, authorhouse.com and other fine bookstores).