Mary on her relationship with Oprah
“’Oprah was like, ‘I didn’t care for you, but it was when I got to know you that I realized who you were.’ Though Oprah is now a friend, Mary is not surprised at her opinion. ‘I understand somebody like her wouldn’t even feel me at all.’ Mary says. ‘I’m a nigga, you know what I’m sayin? So when she said that to me, I was like, ‘Thank you for that honesty.’”
VIBE February 2008
So it only makes sense that the greatest symbol of Black upward mobility and financial success over the past twenty-five didn’t understand Mary J. Blige. It’s only logical that even though they shared the same condition of being a successful Black woman in American society, Oprah Winfrey just didn’t “care” for MJB.
But what do a whole generation of young people of color who were not recognized by their elders, not respected by their elders, and not “cared” for by their elders see themselves as???”
They see themselves as “niggas”. And it is within this context that the word “nigga” has developed over the past twenty-five years.