Brother Ali Speaks About Race, White Kids' Relationship With The Word "Nigga"

posted May 30, 2011 12:15:00 PM CDT | 69 comments

Brother Ali Speaks About Race, White Kids' Relationship With The Word "Nigga"

Ali looks back on his diverse youth and speaks about the curious relationship between race and culture in Hip Hop.

Minneapolis, Minnesota emcee Brother Ali recently spoke to the IllDoctrine's J Smooth about the relationship white people have with the word "nigga." As a white man, the Rhymesayers Entertainment emcee spoke personally from his youth. "It's very, very confusing for white kids who have a lot of black friends are accepted. I can't stand here and say that when I was nine years old and all my friends were black, and they were tellin' me, 'Aw, Ali, you're basically black,' that I didn't believe that."

Now an adult and highly-successful independent artist, Ali deduced, "I think that's something a lot of young white kids struggle with: just understanding the different position we have in the world."

Ali spoke for all white people, but specifically to those immersed in black culture. "We have to own our relationship to the injustice of the world, and we have to own the benefits that we get from it. And for myself, it took a lot of self-love to learn how to do that." Noting that as a legally blind emcee, he faces oppression in everyday society, he acknowledged, "Racially, I'm still priviledged."

The full interview is below:

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