Issa Rae wears a $160 Omondi ‘Niggas’ crewneck on the Season Finale of HBO’s Insecure.
The N word is used flagrantly on the show and in our community. Once an offensive, pejorative term, the African-American community has long adopted the word, using it as a term of endearment and to describe a group of guys (both good and bad).
The protagonists in Insecure use the word quite bit. After having a heated conversation with Daniel, who gave Issa a facial she never anticipated, she hangs up on him and stomps outside to meet a friend, waiting for her in the car. She gets into the car and slams the door. Her friend asks , “What’s wrong with you?” and she emphatically replies, “Niggas!” It’s undoubtedly those ‘Niggas’ she’s referencing in the next episode, where she sports the hand embroidered crewneck in the opening scene.
My first response was, “That’s cool,” and I wondered where I could get one (as did many of you, who dipped into our DM’s).
But then I thought, are we at the point where we can sport a formerly offensive term on a t-shirt? Kenyan American Recho Omondi, who designed the shirt, told W magazine, “The majority [of the responses have been] positive. It was a tongue-and-cheek offering we introduced for Black History Month. People liked the juxtaposition of this socially charged ‘curse word’ hand-sewn into pastel embroidery. It made some people uncomfortable—but our customer understands it.”
On Instagram, some of your responses varied. @NWilkins24 wrote, “I hate the N word. I really wish we stopped using it. After watching 12 Years a Slave I vowed not to use it. White people used it as a means to keep us in our place and reinforce that they owned us. OWNED!! Y’all we free. Fuck that sweatshirt and stop using the damn word.” @Afrobby217 added, “ I don’t want to be labeled as that and if you don’t want people calling you it why would you wear it?” Others are more offended by the price, while a third group, including @Thykcums simply wrote, “I liked it.”
What do you think? Would you buy or rock this shirt?
If so, get yours here.