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Language, Law, & Race: A conversation with Jody Armour

Published by USC Bedrosian Center on

Olivia Olson speaks with Professor Jody Armour about the power of “word work to really make the frozen circumstances that somebody is stuck in dance, by playing them to their own melody.”

In Prof Armour’s latest book N*gga Theory, he focuses on the n-word to delve deeply into the social meaning behind the use of words. How can language challenge cultural boundaries? How can one word carry so much power?

Certain language is a form of mutual aid.

This is a powerful conversation on community. When the power of the state used language to sow inequality, how must we unlearn the language, how do we redefine the words we use to re-root community, to reclaim morality, to grow justice?

Connect with our guests:
Jody David Armour

Roy P. Crocker Professor of Law

Thank you to our co-producers Aubrey Hicks and Jonathan Schwartz as well as our beloved sound supervisors, The Brothers Hedden. Recorded at the USC Price School.

Email us at [email protected].

Bedrosian Center