The 'N-word' will be put on trial at Cuyahoga Community College

The ‘N-word’ will be put on trial at Cuyahoga Community College

By Karen Farkas,
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on March 04, 2016 at 11:23 AM, updated March 04, 2016 at 11:24 AM

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The most provocative and polarizing word in America will be examined in a program titled “Trial by Jury: The Case of the N-Word.”

Cuyahoga Community College will present the free program from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 11, at the Mainstage Theater at Tri-C’s Metropolitan Campus, 2900 Community College Ave.

The interactive presentation dramatizes opposing perspectives in a lawsuit concerning use of the “N-word” during an elementary school history lesson on the civil rights movement.

A 30-minute film depicts the trial and subsequent jury deliberation. The audience will then take part in an open forum to express opinions on the issue. The program ends with an audience vote.

The moderated, town hall-style discussion will be led by a panel including Mike Nelson, president of the Cleveland NAACP; Terence Blanchard, Grammy-winning trumpeter and Tri-C JazzFest artist in residence; K Nyce, a Cleveland disc jockey and business owner; and RA Washington, author, business owner and community activist.

“Trial by Jury: The Case of the N-Word” has been presented to audiences across the country to evoke conversation on the complex societal issue. To learn more about the production, visit

“The N-Word has become a linguistic lightning rod, separating friend from foe and defining respective politics and ideals,” the website sates. “The N-Word now spans a wide spectrum of perspectives, including pro, con, and those that employ the judicial analysis of free speech – it all depends on the time, place, and manner.”

Deborale Richardson-Phillips, director of diversity and inclusion at Tri-C, said in a statement that the college is “delighted to host this riveting conversation. The racial climate of the country suggests there is no better time to discuss this issue.”

The College is presenting the program in partnership with Ideastream, which includes WVIZ/Channel 25 and radio stations WCPN/90.3 FM and WCLV/104.9 FM; and Facing History and Ourselves, a Cleveland Heights nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching about tolerance, respect and civic participation.

For more information on the presentation call 216-987-4444.

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