Can the nerd and the nigga coexist

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In Daniel Beaty’s conversational poem Duality Duel: The Nerd vs the Nigga he explains the battle being fought between the nerd and the nigga by speaking as both the nerd and the nigga. The battle is being fought within many African Americans. Many believe that there is no place in the elite society for the nigga, so they abandon the nigga within themselves and embrace the nerd or the image that seems “proper” to the behavior and image of the upper class or elite society. The battle between the nerd and the nigga is in serious need of a resolution. The battle may not be able to be won by one side so the question is can the nerd and the nigga coexist? What is a nerd? What is a nigga? Before the question can the nerd and nigga coexist can be answered the nerd and the nigga must be defined. According to dictionary.com a nerd is an intelligent but single-minded person obsessed with a nonsocial hobby or pursuit. What is a nigga? The legendary Smokey Robinson once said “I think it’s a shame that every few years black people get a change of name,” but nigga was one of the earliest names, probably the first name after black or African. Back in slavery days the slave masters use to call the slave “niggers,” the term “nigga” is just the slang version of the word nigger. Today the word is only respectfully used by black people to other black people. The use of the word by the white race is thought of as being highly disrespectful. Today black people use the word as form of affection or endearment. It’s common to go out and hear a black person greet another black person by saying, “What’s up nigga,” and their goodbyes will more than likely go something like “Peace out my nigga,” or “See you later nigga.” In-between the hello and goodbye the ... ... middle of paper ... ...hed his “well-crafted external persona,” which express that the nerd is running away from himself. Beatty later says, speaking as the nigga, “without me there is no you” and in that line is the truth. The truth that the nerd is scared to let through and profess but it is revealed when the doors are closed and the nerd is all alone, when the “ghetto nightmares still haunt yo dreams” and you realize that “yo mama is still black.” So the resolution to the battle of the nerd and the nigga is that they coexist and this they can do. The nerd and the nigga complement each other and one must reveal each at their respectable times. As Beaty says, one doesn’t have to solely become a nigga, “but this one thing is true, inside you is a hard ass nigga you gotta let come through.” Don’t deny yourself of being who you truly are embrace your nerd and journey to the nigga in you.

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