The reclamation of slurs, part 2: the N-word
It may sound a bit strange, using an insult as a badge of pride. Today it is known, however, as a process called ‘reclamation’. A means by which marginalised group members consciously label themselves with words once used to hold them down. Doing this allows a sense of ownership of the self, something that's lost after facing years of oppression and prejudice. As a result, some slurs (partly) lose their negative meanings. In this three-part series I will explore how discriminating language evolves through time. To show you that language in general is not rigid, but continuously adapts to our changing views of others. This second article covers the N-word, as an example of racist slurs.