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

Feb 11, 2020

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

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."  

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