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  • Gobierno Nombre: Kenneth Key
  • Número de registro: A70562
  • Edad:57
  • Tiempo de servicio:33 años
  • Home Town:Chicago, Illinois
  • Frase:888 años (Natural Life)
  • Corriente de carga:Armed Robbery, Secuestro
  • Alias:Blue & Ananyah Ben Yisrael
  • Fecha de la versión:N / A
  • Prisión Afiliación:N / A
  • Círculo de Influencia:Jamel Miller
  • Institución:Stateville Centro Correccional
  • You will rise in direct proportion to the decrease in your negative thoughts, words and actions

The Real: Prisoners discuss use of the N-word

I attend a class here at Stateville Correctional Center (Joliet, Illinois) called Further Learning/Creative Writing. The class consists of reading various great authors and writing what got out of and think about the literature. We read Black Boy by Richard Wright and discussed it in class. In particular, the use of the word nigger and question of who can and cannot use the word. Out of this discussion was born a conversation with a young brother by the name of Toney Cole R-47028. Tony is 31-years old from Chicago. He is serving a sentence of forty-years for Murder and Attempted Murder. He has been incarcerated for 11+ años. From our conversation in class came an actual interview. In the prison, I am known by Hebrew Y’Israelite name Ananyah.

Ananyah: Did you read the book Black Boy?

Toney: You know I did, and I have to say in Richard Wright’s book Black Boy there was a line he used that made me think about today’s society and the use of the word nigger.

Ananyah: What line was that?

Toney: The line in which i’m referring to is: “If I did not want others to violate my life, how could I voluntarily violate myself?”

Ananyah: So when you posed the question to yourself how did it make you feel?

Toney: I felt as though that statement said a whole lot about this N-word.

Ananyah: What do you mean by that? They say it’s used as a term of endearment today by people the length and breadth of America and now abroad.

Toney: Today we have a couple of generations saying this word and then saying things like it’s cool, we took the sting out of it, or it’s a term of endearment, but I personally never understood how one could make a disdainful word endearing and stingless.

Ananyah: Some say, it just fits, what’s the big deal?

Toney: Call me crazy, but it just don’t seem to fit to me. Now I’m completely aware that our people have the ability to turn a dire situation into a manageable one. Like how the slaves used to literally get the scraps from the slave owners kitchen- you know pig guts, chitterlings, pig ears, chicken gizzards, and other things you were not supposed to eat, and they ate.

Ananyah: And still do.

Toney: But it was purely to survive, nothing more. But in our blindness some of us carry on with this tradition right now today.

Ananyah: But let’s get back to this word nigger.

Toney: Sí, back to this word nigger. Spell it the way you will, it was never meant to be endearing. How can you go fromI love this nigga” a “Bitch niggain a matter of two breaths? Who you talking to?

Ananyah: I’ve always wondered that myself.

Toney: It just doesn’t fit! Ahora no me malinterpreten, I use the word myself in both manners of speaking. But i’m quickly coming to understand the hypocrisy of we users of the word as well as the damaging effects of the word itself.

Ananyah: Ho so?

Toney: If love wasn’t a term of endearment it would be only used in a negative context. You can’t say that’s my baby and then turn right around and say baby I hate you. You would sound crazy. Just like when say things likeNigga that’s a bad bitch” o “that bitch is hot.We Sound crazy. But since we’re so accustomed to saying phrases, we don’t hear how crazy we sound. Now imagine how the originators of the word nigger, who understand the true nature of its meaning and intent, look at us.

Ananyah: Like we are the dumbest people on the planet.

Toney: But that’s not the crazy part about all this. The crazy part of this is the fact that we try to tell people who can use it and when to use it. I myself say we can’t make anybody stop saying that word as long as we keep saying it.

Ananyah: I feel you on that brother.

Toney: You can’t be mad about it, if a white person calls you a nigger. I mean you took the sting out of it. Why don’t you smile and say back to the white person, “What’s up nigger?”

Ananyah: Now that would be something to experience.

Toney: I mean it’s a term of endearment right? I understand our history in making bad things good, but there’s something we should leave alone. And the usage of this word and other wayward words are things that should be left behind.

Ananyah: I couldn’t agree with you more. Any final thoughts?

Toney: Sí, in closing I’m going to leave you with this. Since we keep using the word nigger and making excuses to use the word nigger, we might as well start saying we were wild savages running naked, swinging from trees, and that slavery was the greatest thing to happen to us. I’m just saying though. And for the deeply religious people who don’t curse, but use the word nigger- the irony! The air is thick with it. De nuevo, if we don’t want others to violate our lives, how could we voluntarily violate ourselves?


I think we need to consider the words we use. Words have energy and profound power. When words are used in a negative context they manifest negative reactions, results, and are often injurious to others. Words in the wrong mouths gives one the power to define and assault. Let’s choose our words carefully.

It is much easier to change what you are doing than to change what another is doing.

The first step in changing anything is to know and accept that you have chosen it to be what it is. Make the change. #RaiseUP

Make a vow to never use the N-word again.


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