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Need good black history/slavery book without n-word

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
I have been listening to ROOTS (Alex Haley) on a 30 hr cd set this week. I intended to have my 6 and 8 yr old kids listen as an educational book at night, but it is riddled with "the n-word" about 1/2 way in.

Being a white man with two young kids, I do not want them to listen to such a book. Turned off Huckleberry Finn for the same reason.

On it's own merit, ROOTS in context for an adult seems not offensive as an educational resource. However, since I have told my children about all of the racial slurs I know for all sorts of races and the reasons for using never them, it seems counter-productive to allow them to listen to ROOTS.

I want them to have a realistic view of the horrible history of slavery. We have the bible for some in Egypt, Assyria, etc. I am looking for a book that tells the horrible beginning that black people had in their first experiences in the United States.

Any Ideas for books not riddled with racial slurs, and available in Audio Book form?

I have ROOTS DVD on the way. I do not remember it being as bad. I also appreciate any ideas on how to properly educate children on the horrors of that part of history since it began early in US history and was heavily part of it up until I was a child.
post #2 of 46
Eh, you may want to wait until they're in middle school at least. That's when I saw ROOTS, and by then I knew from my teachers that the "n" word was simply not something you ever should say.
post #3 of 46
I am not one to shy away from wanting people to understand the horrible things that were done in the past, but I think that this topic might be a bit too heavy for 6 and 8 year old children. Cover the basics now by making them aware of the fact that all law abiding people should be treated exactly the same, and that this was not done on a widespread level in the past. Then, when they get to around junior high age, like TheMarchingMule said, sit them down and have them watch Roots bit by bit. Your children are too young to fully comprehend the topic, so wait until they are older and show them what you really thing they should see. It will make a much more lasting impression than what you have proposed.
post #4 of 46
I'd personally recommend waiting until it's something they fully understand. The first time I heard/saw the "n-word" was in Die Hard 3 when Bruce Willis was walking down the street with that sig and I was still young enough that my brother had to explain that I should never repeat that word. Thankfully I was old enough to understand the impact words can have, so I stayed the hell away from using it especially since a lot of my friends were black when I was growing up.

When I was a teaching assistant in an elementary school, my teacher thought it would be a fantastic idea stock Nazi books-- Not necessarily about WWII, but about Nazis themselves and what they did in the war. I didn't think that kids under ten needed to know about that stuff, but hey, I didn't end up being a teacher so what do I know? Kids are indeed learning all kinds of stuff that would have exploded my brain when I was growing up... I taught kindergartners how to use Windows XP, MS Word and a giant touch screen projector board dealie that they drew all over; when I was a kid we were lucky if we had an old IBM running DOS and we painted on paper, not touch screen projection boards, dammit!

Alright, I got a little carried away, but I'd recommend holding it off for a bit until may middle school, like Marching Mule suggested.
post #5 of 46
I agree with the above post regarding age, although you shouldn't underestimate children's capacity for understanding this sort of subjects, and their understanting of "right and wrong", morality and such.
post #6 of 46
I don't recall if the N word was used in the Roots mini series but I remember it being a pretty graphic depiction of slavery. You may not find it appropriate for a six and eight year old. As far as finding a book concerning slavery that doesn't have the N word, you're better off looking for a children's book although it will probably tone down the subject somewhat.
post #7 of 46
How about showing them To Kill a Mockingbird. They should be able to identify with the children in the movie. Of course, you could have them listen to it before, too.

When they are older, make sure they read 12 Years a Slave. It's an autobiographical slave narrative. You won't get anything like it from Hollywood or a second hand interpretation. As far as historical accuracy, there is no record like it:

Amazon.com: Twelve Years a Slave (9780486411439): Solomon Northup: Books

Sheltering children from derogatory terms is silly.
post #8 of 46
Enlighten the ignorant. What exactly is so bad about the n-word? Yes, it can be used racistically, but AFAIK know the word itself is just race name to one branch of humans, namely black people? (might be wrong?) Hell, one of the countries in Africa has that word in its name. Also do not black people themselves call each other with that name (not to the extent of american blacksploitation films ofcourse, but it is there). I know the use of that word is not favored as it sort off separates people in different groups, but only late years I have encountered this sudden stigma against that word in a "ZOMG its racist repent now!" fashion that you cant even use it when its approriately done with good taste. Though I havent seen/heard ROOTS so I do not know what kind of fashion that word is used in it.

Honestly, this matter does confuse me ATM.
post #9 of 46
Amazon carries a book i read when i was a kid. I was about the age of your children when i read it.


Runaway Slave :The Story Of Harriet Tubman-- by Ann McGovern (Scholastic Books-Paperback)


Amazon.com: Runaway Slave: The Story of Harriet Tubman (Scholastic ): Ann McGovern, R.M. Powers: Books


Also.....
African Americans werent the only people ever enslaved. They can read the book of Exodus in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible, which talks about how the Jews were enslaved by the Egyptians, to give them the reverse prespective also.



Also the DVD - Our Friend Martin (Inspired by the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)

http://www.amazon.com/Our-Friend-Mar...1950188&sr=8-1
post #10 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaZa View Post
Enlighten the ignorant. What exactly is so bad about the n-word? Yes, it can be used racistically, but AFAIK know the word itself is just race name to one branch of humans, namely black people? (might be wrong?)
"Negro" or "Negroid" is the name for African black people. "The N word" is considered derogatory. Like "Caucasian" or "Caucasoid" refers to European or white people, while "cracker" is the relatively far less insulting derogatory version of it. The difference here being that "cracker" doesn't have much of a history behind it because whites were more often than not the ones in the position of power. The N word has a history associated with slavery and oppression.

Quote:
Hell, one of the countries in Africa has that word in its name.
That's Nigeria. One less g. I imagine it's where both Negro and the N word originated, but I think it'd be hard to tell the citizens there that their country is racist.

Quote:
Also do not black people themselves call each other with that name (not to the extent of american blacksploitation films ofcourse, but it is there).
It's just one of those things that white people aren't allowed to do because their ancestors were greedy ********. The word when used between two blacks I imagine it's interpreted as a sign of brotherhood, sort of sarcastic in a way, though these days it's more along the lines of "Ha white guys, we can do this and you can't. How's that for racism?" The word when used by a white to a black is interpreted as racist because of the history behind it. When used by a black to a white, it's just weird and also humorously ironic. When used between two whites then even I feel both whites need a solid kick to the nuts.

Quote:
I know the use of that word is not favored as it sort off separates people in different groups, but only late years I have encountered this sudden stigma against that word in a "ZOMG its racist repent now!" fashion that you cant even use it when its approriately done with good taste. Though I havent seen/heard ROOTS so I do not know what kind of fashion that word is used in it.
Eh, the stigma's been around, obviously from slavery days but recently ever since the word got popular in hip-hop and rap. The question is, can it be done with good taste? Only as a portrayal of history, which is the way I remember it being used in Roots. In those cases, I would hope the inherent racism of the situation would let a child know it's wrong to use the word.
post #11 of 46
I agree with the guys above, give em a few years. On the other hand, isnt Roots about how things used to be and a depiction of the problems with slavery and racism? Figure out a way to explain why that word and others like it should not be used and the message of the movie is even stronger.
post #12 of 46
Just tell them about slavery without going into the details too soon. Let them read works for themselves (which you can choose) and inform them of the history of the U.S. without selectively ignoring the less pretty things. Start subtle even if your kids already know a lot.

When I was young I devoured books and the grim details, you can find them in the Bible too but don't give them too heavy stuff. If you can't find the right books via internet etcetera, try university libraries and old book stores. The old book stores hide treasure...
post #13 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Head Injury View Post
"Negro" or "Negroid" is the name for African black people. "The N word" is considered derogatory. Like "Caucasian" or "Caucasoid" refers to European or white people, while "cracker" is the relatively far less insulting derogatory version of it. The difference here being that "cracker" doesn't have much of a history behind it because whites were more often than not the ones in the position of power. The N word has a history associated with slavery and oppression.


That's Nigeria. One less g. I imagine it's where both Negro and the N word originated, but I think it'd be hard to tell the citizens there that their country is racist.


It's just one of those things that white people aren't allowed to do because their ancestors were greedy ********. The word when used between two blacks I imagine it's interpreted as a sign of brotherhood, sort of sarcastic in a way, though these days it's more along the lines of "Ha white guys, we can do this and you can't. How's that for racism?" The word when used by a white to a black is interpreted as racist because of the history behind it. When used by a black to a white, it's just weird and also humorously ironic. When used between two whites then even I feel both whites need a solid kick to the nuts.


Eh, the stigma's been around, obviously from slavery days but recently ever since the word got popular in hip-hop and rap. The question is, can it be done with good taste? Only as a portrayal of history, which is the way I remember it being used in Roots. In those cases, I would hope the inherent racism of the situation would let a child know it's wrong to use the word.


AH! Now I see. I got those two words mixed up. So Negro is the less derogatory term. Its a language issue, because in finnish language Neekeri (sounds bit like N-word) is the less bit derogatory one, though also used racistically, and shortened term Nekru (sounds like Negro when pronounced) is actually the racially insulting one.

Thanks for clarification.
post #14 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaZa View Post
Enlighten the ignorant. What exactly is so bad about the n-word? Yes, it can be used racistically, but AFAIK know the word itself is just race name to one branch of humans, namely black people? (might be wrong?) Hell, one of the countries in Africa has that word in its name. Also do not black people themselves call each other with that name (not to the extent of american blacksploitation films ofcourse, but it is there). I know the use of that word is not favored as it sort off separates people in different groups, but only late years I have encountered this sudden stigma against that word in a "ZOMG its racist repent now!" fashion that you cant even use it when its approriately done with good taste. Though I havent seen/heard ROOTS so I do not know what kind of fashion that word is used in it.

Honestly, this matter does confuse me ATM.
I understand your point of view, and im not as bothered by racial things against any of my nationalities either, but i havent had to live with racial predjuduce either, so i can only imagine so much i guess.

If you lived in America, you may understand why the word is so hated.
Im not saying you dont get the point, but living with it is different.
Its connected to very negative reminders of history.

I think weve come a long way, but things still arent perfect.
Agree the word isnt so bad,or not.....if it bothers someone, i think it best to just avoid it really. There are many more words we can play with, and barring a few isnt going to hurt us or make our communication less effective.

post #15 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Head Injury View Post
"Negro" or "Negroid" is the name for African black people. "The N word" is considered derogatory. Like "Caucasian" or "Caucasoid" refers to European or white people, while "cracker" is the relatively far less insulting derogatory version of it. The difference here being that "cracker" doesn't have much of a history behind it because whites were more often than not the ones in the position of power. The N word has a history associated with slavery and oppression.


That's Nigeria. One less g. I imagine it's where both Negro and the N word originated, but I think it'd be hard to tell the citizens there that their country is racist.


It's just one of those things that white people aren't allowed to do because their ancestors were greedy ********. The word when used between two blacks I imagine it's interpreted as a sign of brotherhood, sort of sarcastic in a way, though these days it's more along the lines of "Ha white guys, we can do this and you can't. How's that for racism?" The word when used by a white to a black is interpreted as racist because of the history behind it. When used by a black to a white, it's just weird and also humorously ironic. When used between two whites then even I feel both whites need a solid kick to the nuts.


Eh, the stigma's been around, obviously from slavery days but recently ever since the word got popular in hip-hop and rap. The question is, can it be done with good taste? Only as a portrayal of history, which is the way I remember it being used in Roots. In those cases, I would hope the inherent racism of the situation would let a child know it's wrong to use the word.
I think hes talking about the country of Niger, which has one G rather than the derogatory word that has GG in it.
Im not sure if Niger and Nigeria are the same thing, but i remember looking at some world globes and seeing the word and thinking the same as he thought.
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