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N: My Encounter with Racism and the Forbidden Word in an American Classic

Paperback |English |1506479162 | 9781506479163

N: My Encounter with Racism and the Forbidden Word in an American Classic

Paperback |English |1506479162 | 9781506479163
Overview

This book is about a Black man's experience of reading Mark Twain's classic Adventures of Huckleberry Finn for the first time while in graduate school. The story captures the author's emotional struggle with Twain's use of the racial epithet more than two hundred times in the text. Author James Henry Harris reports being relieved to come to the end of the semester of encountering Twain's use of [the forbidden word] every week. . . . I was teetering on the brink of falling apart. . . . For the first time the class seemed to understand my painful struggle, and my plight as a Black man in class was a metaphor, a symbol of the past, present, and postmodern condition of American society.

This is a courageous memoir that wrestles with the historic stain of racism and the ongoing impact of racist language in postmodern society. The book is about Harris's flashbacks, conversations, and dilemmas spawned by use of the epithet in a classroom setting where the author was the only Black person. His diary-like reflections reveal his skill as a keen reader of culture and literature. In these pages, Harris challenges his instructor and classmates and inspires readers to redress the long history of American racism and white supremacy bound up with the N-word. He reflects on how current Black artists and others use the word in a different way with the intention of empowering or claiming the term. But Harris is not convinced that even this usage does not further feed the word's racist roots.

Healing racial division begins with understanding the deep impact our words can have to tear down or to heal. This book invites the reader into this important conversation.

ISBN: 1506479162
ISBN13: 9781506479163
Author: James Henry Harris
Publisher: Fortress Press
Format: Paperback
PublicationDate: 2021-10-26
Language: English
PageCount: 181
Dimensions: 5.43 x 0.63 x 8.5 inches
Weight: 11.2 ounces

This book is about a Black man's experience of reading Mark Twain's classic Adventures of Huckleberry Finn for the first time while in graduate school. The story captures the author's emotional struggle with Twain's use of the racial epithet more than two hundred times in the text. Author James Henry Harris reports being relieved to come to the end of the semester of encountering Twain's use of [the forbidden word] every week. . . . I was teetering on the brink of falling apart. . . . For the first time the class seemed to understand my painful struggle, and my plight as a Black man in class was a metaphor, a symbol of the past, present, and postmodern condition of American society.

This is a courageous memoir that wrestles with the historic stain of racism and the ongoing impact of racist language in postmodern society. The book is about Harris's flashbacks, conversations, and dilemmas spawned by use of the epithet in a classroom setting where the author was the only Black person. His diary-like reflections reveal his skill as a keen reader of culture and literature. In these pages, Harris challenges his instructor and classmates and inspires readers to redress the long history of American racism and white supremacy bound up with the N-word. He reflects on how current Black artists and others use the word in a different way with the intention of empowering or claiming the term. But Harris is not convinced that even this usage does not further feed the word's racist roots.

Healing racial division begins with understanding the deep impact our words can have to tear down or to heal. This book invites the reader into this important conversation.

Editorial Reviews

James Henry Harris--reverend, thinker, professor, public intellectual, and social activist--has confronted one of the most fraught topics in American history and illuminated it with visceral power. An enthralling, moving, and emotional journey of encounter, suffering, and victory. --William C. McDonald, professor, University of Virginia

This is an elegant, heartfelt rumination on America's crucible of race. Engaging, beautifully crafted, and analytically powerful. By blending the narrative voice of a memoirist and the sharp insights of a true scholar, Harris achieves a remarkable literary triumph. --Tim Wise, author of White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son

James Henry Harris offers an outstanding analysis of the pain and degradation caused by using the n- word. His compelling story will stir your emotions, challenge your thinking, and keep you reading. --Jacqueline Madison-McCreary, pastor, First Baptist Church of New Market, Piscataway, New Jersey

Harris's courageous memoir confronts the long debate over Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and its use of the N-word. Marshaling critics from Hegel to bell hooks, and calling on a family history of resistance, Harris challenges his instructor and classmates, and in turn inspires his readers, to redress the long history of American racism and white supremacy bound up with the epithet. --Mark A. Sanders, University of Notre Dame

James Henry Harris masterfully takes the reader on an experiential journey with an American classic as both analysis and memoir. N: My Encounter with Racism and the Forbidden Word in an American Classic articulates the gravitas and visceral effects of the singular word in the English language, a word that still holds America in the grips of its nebulous struggle to traverse its path of liberty and justice for all. As Harris speaks from the heart, the reader will be forever transformed by his impassioned words. --Lisa Baldwin-Wilson, DMin student, Samuel De Witt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University

Incendiary in the cleanliness of its outrage, N by James Henry Harris gives the real-life account of a Black man blindsided by the most insufferable word in the American lexicon, and his attempt to symbolize the ensuing trauma of being ambushed by it in the halls of academia. In this pursuit, Harris offers a winning critique of race and place, with the grace of an aging scholar trying to make sense of the forbidden word. --Tony Baugh, author of Groan in the Throat Vol. 1: White Supremacy Is a Religion and Other Essays on Being Black, Keeping the Faith, and Surviving America

, professor, University of Virginia, author of White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son, pastor, First Baptist Church of New Market, Piscataway, New Jersey, University of Notre Dame, DMin student, Samuel De Witt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University, author of Groan in the Throat Vol. 1: White Supremacy Is a Religion and Other Essays on Being Black, Keeping the Faith, and Surviving America

is Distinguished Professor of Homiletics and Pastoral Theology and a research scholar in religion and humanities at the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology, Virginia Union University. He also serves as chair of the theology faculty and pastor of Second Baptist Church, Richmond, Virginia. He is a former president of the Academy of Homiletics and recipient of the Henry Luce Fellowship in Theology. He is the author of numerous books, including Beyond the Tyranny of the Text and Black Suffering: Silent Pain, Hidden Hope (Fortress Press, 2020).

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  • New: A brand-new copy with cover and original protective wrapping intact. Books with markings of any kind on the cover or pages, books marked as "Bargain" or "Remainder," or with any other labels attached, may not be listed as New condition.
  • Used - Good: All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels. Shrink wrap, dust covers, or boxed set case may be missing. Item may be missing bundled media.
  • Used - Acceptable: All pages and the cover are intact, but shrink wrap, dust covers, or boxed set case may be missing. Pages may include limited notes, highlighting, or minor water damage but the text is readable. Item may but the dust cover may be missing. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting, but the text cannot be obscured or unreadable.

Note: Some electronic material access codes are valid only for one user. For this reason, used books, including books listed in the Used – Like New condition, may not come with functional electronic material access codes.

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  • Stevens Books offers FREE SHIPPING everywhere in the United States for ALL non-book orders, and $3.99 for each book.
  • Packages are shipped from Monday to Friday.
  • No additional fees and charges.

Delivery Times

The usual time for processing an order is 24 hours (1 business day), but may vary depending on the availability of products ordered. This period excludes delivery times, which depend on your geographic location.

Estimated delivery times:

  • Standard Shipping: 5-8 business days
  • Expedited Shipping: 3-5 business days

Shipping method varies depending on what is being shipped.  

Tracking
All orders are shipped with a tracking number. Once your order has left our warehouse, a confirmation e-mail with a tracking number will be sent to you. You will be able to track your package at all times. 

Damaged Parcel
If your package has been delivered in a PO Box, please note that we are not responsible for any damage that may result (consequences of extreme temperatures, theft, etc.). 

If you have any questions regarding shipping or want to know about the status of an order, please contact us or email to support@stevensbooks.com.

You may return most items within 30 days of delivery for a full refund.

To be eligible for a return, your item must be unused and in the same condition that you received it. It must also be in the original packaging.

Several types of goods are exempt from being returned. Perishable goods such as food, flowers, newspapers or magazines cannot be returned. We also do not accept products that are intimate or sanitary goods, hazardous materials, or flammable liquids or gases.

Additional non-returnable items:

  • Gift cards
  • Downloadable software products
  • Some health and personal care items

To complete your return, we require a tracking number, which shows the items which you already returned to us.
There are certain situations where only partial refunds are granted (if applicable)

  • Book with obvious signs of use
  • CD, DVD, VHS tape, software, video game, cassette tape, or vinyl record that has been opened
  • Any item not in its original condition, is damaged or missing parts for reasons not due to our error
  • Any item that is returned more than 30 days after delivery

Items returned to us as a result of our error will receive a full refund,some returns may be subject to a restocking fee of 7% of the total item price, please contact a customer care team member to see if your return is subject. Returns that arrived on time and were as described are subject to a restocking fee.

Items returned to us that were not the result of our error, including items returned to us due to an invalid or incomplete address, will be refunded the original item price less our standard restocking fees.

If the item is returned to us for any of the following reasons, a 15% restocking fee will be applied to your refund total and you will be asked to pay for return shipping:

  • Item(s) no longer needed or wanted.
  • Item(s) returned to us due to an invalid or incomplete address.
  • Item(s) returned to us that were not a result of our error.

You should expect to receive your refund within four weeks of giving your package to the return shipper, however, in many cases you will receive a refund more quickly. This time period includes the transit time for us to receive your return from the shipper (5 to 10 business days), the time it takes us to process your return once we receive it (3 to 5 business days), and the time it takes your bank to process our refund request (5 to 10 business days).

If you need to return an item, please Contact Us with your order number and details about the product you would like to return. We will respond quickly with instructions for how to return items from your order.


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Overview

This book is about a Black man's experience of reading Mark Twain's classic Adventures of Huckleberry Finn for the first time while in graduate school. The story captures the author's emotional struggle with Twain's use of the racial epithet more than two hundred times in the text. Author James Henry Harris reports being relieved to come to the end of the semester of encountering Twain's use of [the forbidden word] every week. . . . I was teetering on the brink of falling apart. . . . For the first time the class seemed to understand my painful struggle, and my plight as a Black man in class was a metaphor, a symbol of the past, present, and postmodern condition of American society.

This is a courageous memoir that wrestles with the historic stain of racism and the ongoing impact of racist language in postmodern society. The book is about Harris's flashbacks, conversations, and dilemmas spawned by use of the epithet in a classroom setting where the author was the only Black person. His diary-like reflections reveal his skill as a keen reader of culture and literature. In these pages, Harris challenges his instructor and classmates and inspires readers to redress the long history of American racism and white supremacy bound up with the N-word. He reflects on how current Black artists and others use the word in a different way with the intention of empowering or claiming the term. But Harris is not convinced that even this usage does not further feed the word's racist roots.

Healing racial division begins with understanding the deep impact our words can have to tear down or to heal. This book invites the reader into this important conversation.

ISBN: 1506479162
ISBN13: 9781506479163
Author: James Henry Harris
Publisher: Fortress Press
Format: Paperback
PublicationDate: 2021-10-26
Language: English
PageCount: 181
Dimensions: 5.43 x 0.63 x 8.5 inches
Weight: 11.2 ounces

This book is about a Black man's experience of reading Mark Twain's classic Adventures of Huckleberry Finn for the first time while in graduate school. The story captures the author's emotional struggle with Twain's use of the racial epithet more than two hundred times in the text. Author James Henry Harris reports being relieved to come to the end of the semester of encountering Twain's use of [the forbidden word] every week. . . . I was teetering on the brink of falling apart. . . . For the first time the class seemed to understand my painful struggle, and my plight as a Black man in class was a metaphor, a symbol of the past, present, and postmodern condition of American society.

This is a courageous memoir that wrestles with the historic stain of racism and the ongoing impact of racist language in postmodern society. The book is about Harris's flashbacks, conversations, and dilemmas spawned by use of the epithet in a classroom setting where the author was the only Black person. His diary-like reflections reveal his skill as a keen reader of culture and literature. In these pages, Harris challenges his instructor and classmates and inspires readers to redress the long history of American racism and white supremacy bound up with the N-word. He reflects on how current Black artists and others use the word in a different way with the intention of empowering or claiming the term. But Harris is not convinced that even this usage does not further feed the word's racist roots.

Healing racial division begins with understanding the deep impact our words can have to tear down or to heal. This book invites the reader into this important conversation.

Editorial Reviews

James Henry Harris--reverend, thinker, professor, public intellectual, and social activist--has confronted one of the most fraught topics in American history and illuminated it with visceral power. An enthralling, moving, and emotional journey of encounter, suffering, and victory. --William C. McDonald, professor, University of Virginia

This is an elegant, heartfelt rumination on America's crucible of race. Engaging, beautifully crafted, and analytically powerful. By blending the narrative voice of a memoirist and the sharp insights of a true scholar, Harris achieves a remarkable literary triumph. --Tim Wise, author of White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son

James Henry Harris offers an outstanding analysis of the pain and degradation caused by using the n- word. His compelling story will stir your emotions, challenge your thinking, and keep you reading. --Jacqueline Madison-McCreary, pastor, First Baptist Church of New Market, Piscataway, New Jersey

Harris's courageous memoir confronts the long debate over Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and its use of the N-word. Marshaling critics from Hegel to bell hooks, and calling on a family history of resistance, Harris challenges his instructor and classmates, and in turn inspires his readers, to redress the long history of American racism and white supremacy bound up with the epithet. --Mark A. Sanders, University of Notre Dame

James Henry Harris masterfully takes the reader on an experiential journey with an American classic as both analysis and memoir. N: My Encounter with Racism and the Forbidden Word in an American Classic articulates the gravitas and visceral effects of the singular word in the English language, a word that still holds America in the grips of its nebulous struggle to traverse its path of liberty and justice for all. As Harris speaks from the heart, the reader will be forever transformed by his impassioned words. --Lisa Baldwin-Wilson, DMin student, Samuel De Witt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University

Incendiary in the cleanliness of its outrage, N by James Henry Harris gives the real-life account of a Black man blindsided by the most insufferable word in the American lexicon, and his attempt to symbolize the ensuing trauma of being ambushed by it in the halls of academia. In this pursuit, Harris offers a winning critique of race and place, with the grace of an aging scholar trying to make sense of the forbidden word. --Tony Baugh, author of Groan in the Throat Vol. 1: White Supremacy Is a Religion and Other Essays on Being Black, Keeping the Faith, and Surviving America

, professor, University of Virginia, author of White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son, pastor, First Baptist Church of New Market, Piscataway, New Jersey, University of Notre Dame, DMin student, Samuel De Witt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University, author of Groan in the Throat Vol. 1: White Supremacy Is a Religion and Other Essays on Being Black, Keeping the Faith, and Surviving America

is Distinguished Professor of Homiletics and Pastoral Theology and a research scholar in religion and humanities at the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology, Virginia Union University. He also serves as chair of the theology faculty and pastor of Second Baptist Church, Richmond, Virginia. He is a former president of the Academy of Homiletics and recipient of the Henry Luce Fellowship in Theology. He is the author of numerous books, including Beyond the Tyranny of the Text and Black Suffering: Silent Pain, Hidden Hope (Fortress Press, 2020).

Books - New and Used

The following guidelines apply to books:

  • New: A brand-new copy with cover and original protective wrapping intact. Books with markings of any kind on the cover or pages, books marked as "Bargain" or "Remainder," or with any other labels attached, may not be listed as New condition.
  • Used - Good: All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels. Shrink wrap, dust covers, or boxed set case may be missing. Item may be missing bundled media.
  • Used - Acceptable: All pages and the cover are intact, but shrink wrap, dust covers, or boxed set case may be missing. Pages may include limited notes, highlighting, or minor water damage but the text is readable. Item may but the dust cover may be missing. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting, but the text cannot be obscured or unreadable.

Note: Some electronic material access codes are valid only for one user. For this reason, used books, including books listed in the Used – Like New condition, may not come with functional electronic material access codes.

Shipping Fees

  • Stevens Books offers FREE SHIPPING everywhere in the United States for ALL non-book orders, and $3.99 for each book.
  • Packages are shipped from Monday to Friday.
  • No additional fees and charges.

Delivery Times

The usual time for processing an order is 24 hours (1 business day), but may vary depending on the availability of products ordered. This period excludes delivery times, which depend on your geographic location.

Estimated delivery times:

  • Standard Shipping: 5-8 business days
  • Expedited Shipping: 3-5 business days

Shipping method varies depending on what is being shipped.  

Tracking
All orders are shipped with a tracking number. Once your order has left our warehouse, a confirmation e-mail with a tracking number will be sent to you. You will be able to track your package at all times. 

Damaged Parcel
If your package has been delivered in a PO Box, please note that we are not responsible for any damage that may result (consequences of extreme temperatures, theft, etc.). 

If you have any questions regarding shipping or want to know about the status of an order, please contact us or email to support@stevensbooks.com.

You may return most items within 30 days of delivery for a full refund.

To be eligible for a return, your item must be unused and in the same condition that you received it. It must also be in the original packaging.

Several types of goods are exempt from being returned. Perishable goods such as food, flowers, newspapers or magazines cannot be returned. We also do not accept products that are intimate or sanitary goods, hazardous materials, or flammable liquids or gases.

Additional non-returnable items:

  • Gift cards
  • Downloadable software products
  • Some health and personal care items

To complete your return, we require a tracking number, which shows the items which you already returned to us.
There are certain situations where only partial refunds are granted (if applicable)

  • Book with obvious signs of use
  • CD, DVD, VHS tape, software, video game, cassette tape, or vinyl record that has been opened
  • Any item not in its original condition, is damaged or missing parts for reasons not due to our error
  • Any item that is returned more than 30 days after delivery

Items returned to us as a result of our error will receive a full refund,some returns may be subject to a restocking fee of 7% of the total item price, please contact a customer care team member to see if your return is subject. Returns that arrived on time and were as described are subject to a restocking fee.

Items returned to us that were not the result of our error, including items returned to us due to an invalid or incomplete address, will be refunded the original item price less our standard restocking fees.

If the item is returned to us for any of the following reasons, a 15% restocking fee will be applied to your refund total and you will be asked to pay for return shipping:

  • Item(s) no longer needed or wanted.
  • Item(s) returned to us due to an invalid or incomplete address.
  • Item(s) returned to us that were not a result of our error.

You should expect to receive your refund within four weeks of giving your package to the return shipper, however, in many cases you will receive a refund more quickly. This time period includes the transit time for us to receive your return from the shipper (5 to 10 business days), the time it takes us to process your return once we receive it (3 to 5 business days), and the time it takes your bank to process our refund request (5 to 10 business days).

If you need to return an item, please Contact Us with your order number and details about the product you would like to return. We will respond quickly with instructions for how to return items from your order.


Shipping Cost


We'll pay the return shipping costs if the return is a result of our error (you received an incorrect or defective item, etc.). In other cases, you will be responsible for paying for your own shipping costs for returning your item. Shipping costs are non-refundable. If you receive a refund, the cost of return shipping will be deducted from your refund.

Depending on where you live, the time it may take for your exchanged product to reach you, may vary.

If you are shipping an item over $75, you should consider using a trackable shipping service or purchasing shipping insurance. We don’t guarantee that we will receive your returned item.

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