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Multimedia Performance 'Black Like Me' Explores The N-Word

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Nate Watters
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Jade Solomon Curtis explores the nuances of the n-word through her show called 'Black Like Me.'

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Credit Nate Watters
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Part of Jade Solomon Curtis' show, 'Black Like Me,' explores hip-hop music's influence and use of the n-word.

There are loaded words in all languages. From swear words to sacreligious words to simply crass words, most of us know them but refrain from using them — at least in public discourse. Most of them can’t be said at all on the radio. But Jade Solomon Curtis wants all of us to have a conversation about one of the most weighted words in English: the n-word.  

Solomon Curtis is a dancer and choreographer based in Seattle, Wash. On Wednesday evening she’ll bring her evening-long, multimedia mediation on the n-word to the Marcus Center’s Vogel Hall. It’s called Black Like Me: An Exploration of the Word Ni--er. The central question the piece asks is: Can this word be redeemed? For Solomon Curtis, the answer is no.

"The more historical context I had around the word, the more conversations I had with people and their experience with the word, the more my position became solidified," she explains. "I believe the word cannot be redeemed or transformed. It is blood soaked and cannot be cleaned."  

Do you have a question about race in Milwaukee that you'd like WUWM's Teran Powell to explore? Submit it below.

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Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.
In 2018, Teran became WUWM's Race & Ethnicity Reporter. She joined WUWM in the fall of 2017 as the station’s very first Eric Von Fellow.
Maggie Holdorf
Maggie Holdorf started as a WUWM Lake Effect intern in September 2019.