The use of “nigger,” in this case, was to further note the chasm between us and them. My mother still liked my husband, soon-to-be ex. She wished him well and understood his mother’s defense of him was a protective thing. “That’s her child,” she added.
But still, there was the N-word. Being Black I wasn’t unaware of its meaning. Though I can’t place where or how I first heard it. This term was rarely used in the household I grew up in, though profanity was a staple. Perhaps the word is so ingrained in African-American DNA I came into the world with it already in my vocabulary.