The Forbidden Word


This word is so hateful,


And inflammatory.

So sit back and listen to my story.


I remember being called one,

By one of my peers.

When I heard it,

It felt like a gun trigger,

As she sinisterly told me,

“Go pick my cotton nigger.”


She said it to my face,

Bold and Proud.

No hesitation.

It ran off the tongue like a waterfall.


The room went silent.

As I stood there in awe,


And disbelief.

How can a so-called "friend" say this to me?


I looked around at the other students in the room

Hoping that one of them would speak up.

But chose to sit,

In shameful silence,

Which makes them complicit too.


Watching my “friends” be silent

While I was being attacked,

Was the worst pain in the back.


Friends are supposed to be there

And uplift you.

Yet here I stood alone,

Being dehumanized,

While they remain mute.


When I think about that moment,

It still sends shock waves through my body

As I recall the history of the

Forbidden Word,

That is filled with blood and hate.


In today’s society,

We embrace the word nigger.

In music and casual conversation.

How quickly we forget its history,

Of evil and dehumanization.


People get too comfortable.

When one gets to a point of familiarity,

They begin to lose their sense of boundary.


It was used to remind blacks,

Of our inferiority,

And our subhuman status.

As it was screamed and shouted,

At the Negro boy’s body while he hangs.


Hearing this being said to me brought back a painful history.

It’s been almost two years since that day.

A day that will live in infamy.

Once we begin to understand the Forbidden Word,

Is the day we can truly be set free.