I’ve always been interested in sociology, particularly issues about race and culture, so I often rent documentaries exploring the topics. I watched “The ‘N’ Word” over the weekend, directed by Todd Williams, and concluded that the word may be the most complex in existence.
Depending on who says the inflammatory word, and how it’s used, the African-Americans interviewed in the documentary explain how it is both powerful and powerless, both divisive and bonding.
The documentary includes interviews from Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Rock, Whoopi Goldberg, Regina King and Quincy Jones, among others.The film, too complex to explain in a blog entry, also made me think about the complexities of our own state. “Mississippi,” the “M” word, means different things to different people, depending on your perspective.
I’ve often thought “Mississippi” would be a great new Alan Ball (of “American Beauty” and “Six Feet Under”) series because of the state’s reputation, the misconceptions outsiders sometimes have about it and the truths often ignored within it. Perceptions of Mississippi always vary, and Ball would never run out of cultural nuances to explore.