Who’s Allowed to Say THE WORD?

Let’s start this off right. I’ll wait until you finish dancing. Not your thing? Well wait until I finish. Please.

The Word, S2 Ep1

That video is the edited version – the one cute little Jack didn’t use for his school talent show performance in the season premiere of black-ish. He walked to center stage and busted out a little break-dancing move as the beat to “Gold Digger” dropped. Then he hit the nae-nae and gave us some shmoney action. I immediately started dancing along because: my jam.

He didn’t even get to the first verse because he rapped to the audience that “She ain’t messin’ wit’ no broke niggas.” Yup. He said “niggas” at the school talent show. All mouths in the room hit the floor, and MC Teacher Lady scrambled to turn the music off and end Jack’s performance. I know, I know. Wouldn’t that have been caught at the rehearsal in real life? Yes, but this is TV life and maybe he swapped versions when it came time for the actual show. K?

When Dre and Bow later met with the principal, they learned that Jack was expelled. There was a zero-tolerance policy for hate speech, which it turns out Bow helped implement. Dre couldn’t understand the big deal because he felt like it was Jack’s birthright to say the n-word.

This led to an exploration of who can say it and who can’t and whether it’s acceptable for black people to say it at all. Pops considered it to be a negative word, and frowned upon Dre’s generation for embracing it. Dre told Pops that his generation flipped the n-word from something negative to positive just like slaves took pig scraps and plants in the woods and made chitterlings and collard greens. I almost shed a tear laughing.

Mom and Pops said the word was okay-ish to say if it slipped out, but never in mixed company. Below, you’ll see what Dre’s coworkers think about the word.


In the end, Jack was only suspended from school, which satisfied the family.

My Favorite Moment: When Pops told Andre Jr. that he smelled like “wide open ass.” I rewound that part just so I could fall out twice.

This show tickles my middle-school-aged soul. It’s the closest thing I’ve seen to The Cosby Show in over a decade. I find myself smiling through most episodes if I’m not LMAO. The season premiere didn’t disappoint. I look forward to seeing what’s in store next week.

Catch black-ish Wednesdays at 9:30 EST on ABC



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