What does “House Nigger/Negro” mean? (+video)

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Mana Party co-leader, Annette Skyes, made the point that people should learn where the term “House Nigger” was derived, so we thought we’d put together some info to assist. The great civil rights leader, Malcolm X spoke about in many years ago, some of this is detailed in the video clip above.

The extended speech is below:

“There was two kind of slaves. There was the house negro and the field negro. The house negro, they lived in the house, with master. Theydressed pretty good. They ate good, cause they ate his food, what he left.They lived in the attic or the basement, but still they lived near theirmaster, and they loved their master, more than their master lovedhimself. They would give their life to save their masters house quickerthan their master would. The house negro, if the master said “we got agood house here” the house negro say “yeah, we got a good house here”.

Whenever the master would said we, he’d say we. That’s how you cantell a house negro. If the master’s house caught on fire, the house negrowould fight harder to put the blaze out than the master would. If themaster got sick, the house negro would say “What’s the matter, boss, wesick?” We sick! He identified himself with his master, more than themaster identified with himself. And if you came to the house negro andsaid “Let’s run away, Let’s escape, Let’s separate” the house negro wouldlook at you and say “Man, you crazy. What you mean separate?

Whereis there a better house than this? Where can I wear better clothes thanthis? Where can I eat better food than this?” There was that housenegro. In those days, he was called a house nigger. And that’s what wecall him today, because we still got some house niggers runnin aroundhere. This modern house negro loves his master. He wants to live nearhim. He’ll pay three times as much as the house is worth just to live nearhis master, and then brag about “I’m the only negro out here. I’m theonly one on my job. I’m the only one in this school.” “You’re nothing buta house negro. And if someone come to you right now and say “Let’sseparate.”, you say the same thing that the house negro said on theplantation.

“What you mean separate? From America? This good whiteland? Where you gonna get a better job than you get here? I mean, thisis what you say! “I di-I ain’t left nothing in Africa” That’s what you say.

“Why, you left your mind in Africa”. On that same plantation, there wasthe field negro. The field negro, those were the masses. There wasalways more negros in the field as there were negros in the house. Therenegro in the field caught hell. He ate leftovers. In the house, they atehigh up on the hog. The negro in the field didn’t get nothing but whatwas left in the insides of the hog. They call them chit’lins nowaday. Inthose days, they called them what they were, guts! That’s what youwere, a guteater. And some of you are still guteaters.

The field negrowas beaten, from morning til night. He lived in a shack, in a hut. Hewore cast-off clothes. He hated his master. I say, he hated his master. He was intelligent. That house negro loved his master. But that field negro, remember, they were in the majority, and they hated their master. When the house caught on fire, he didn’t try to put it out, thatfield negro prayed for a wind. For a breeze. When the master got sick, the field negro prayed that he died. If someone come to the field negro and said “Let’s separate, let’s run.”

He didn’t say “Where we going?” hesaid “Any place is better than here”. We got field negros in Americatoday. I’m a field negro. The masses are the field negros.

When they seethis mans house on fire, we don’t hear these little negros talkin bout”Our Government is in trouble. They say thee Government is in trouble.”

Imagine a negro, “Our Government”. I even heard one say “Ourastronauts.” They won’t even let him near the plant, and “Ourastronauts”. “Our neighbors” That’s a negro that’s out of his mind. That’sa negro that’s out of his mind! Just cause the slave master in that day,used Tom, to keep the field negroes in check. The same ol slavemastertoday has negros who are nothing but modern Uncle Toms. 20thcentury Uncle Toms to keep you and me in check. Keep us undercontrol. Keep us passive and peaceful. And nonviolent. That’s Tommaking you nonviolent. It’s like when you go to the dentist and the manis going to take your tooth. You’re going to fight him when he startpulling. So they squirt some stuff in your jaw called novocane, to makeyou think their not doing anything to you. So you sit there and becauseyou got all that novocane in your jaw, you suffer peacefully. Hahahaha.There’s nothing in our book, the Quran, as you call it, Koran, thatteaches us to suffer peacefully. Our religion teaches us to be intelligent.

Be peaceful. Be courteuos. Obey the law. Respect everyone. But ifsomeone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery! That’s a goodreligion. In fact, that’s that old-time religion. That’s the one that ma andpa used to talk about. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth and ahead for a head and a life for a life.

That’s a good religion. And doesn’t anybody, no one resist that kind of religion being taught but a wolf whointends to make you his meal. This is the way it is with the white man inAmerica. He’s a wolf and you’re his sheep. Anytime a shepherd, a pastor,teach you and me not to run from the white man, and at the same timeteach us don’t fight the white man, he’s a traitor, to you and me. Don’tlay down our life all by itself, no, preserve your life. It’s the best thingyou got. And if you got to give it up, let it be Even Steven.

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