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HomeBlogA New Year’s Challenge:  Educate Students by Bringing the ‘N-Word’ Back into...

A New Year’s Challenge:  Educate Students by Bringing the ‘N-Word’ Back into the Classroom

Johnny Wolfe, a white male history and African American Studies teacher, was recently fired from a college prep charter school in Kansas City after black students complained he had committed the unconscionable act of using the N-word, “nigger,” multiple times while teaching one of his classes. Was his transgression so intolerable it warranted a dismissal from teaching?

I don’t think so; I believe it is impossible to teach African American history without dissecting the N-word and its complexity within and outside the black community. My license to speak on the subject, for those who believe I need one, comes from the fact that I am a black political scientist born and raised in the rural South. There was a time when America’s intelligentsia agreed with me. Now, it’s considered “racial violence.”

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Dr. Carol Swain
Dr. Carol Swain
Dr. Carol Swain is a Distinguished Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies with the Texas Public Policy Foundation and a former tenured professor at Vanderbilt and Princeton universities. Her most recent books are Black Eye for America: How Critical Race Theory is Burning Down the House (Co-authored with Dr. Chris Schorr, 2021) and Countercultural Living: What Jesus Has to Say about Life, Marriage, Race, Gender, and Materialism (2021).


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