Private Project

Journey to the Bottom of the n-Word

Journey to the Bottom of the n-Word captures the birth and evolution of the n-word in America.

Journalism professor and Hartford Courant columnist Frank Harris III set out on a journey across America to get to the bottom of the n-word. Combining interviews with diverse Americans, research through hundreds of newspaper archives, along with surveys of today’s news media --this film takes the viewer on an engaging, informative, provocative, unforgettable journey that fosters discussion about the word that persistently rattles the chain from our past to our present.

  • Frank Harris III
  • Frank Harris III
  • Frank Harris III
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    50 minutes 9 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 30, 2016
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Southern Connecticut State University
    New Haven
    United States
    April 7, 2016
  • Baltimore International Black Film Festival
    United States
    October 7, 2016
  • Twin Cities Black Film Festival
    St. Paul
    United States
    October 9, 2016
Director Biography - Frank Harris III

Frank Harris III is a journalism professor at Southern Connecticut State University and a columnist for the Hartford Courant. He is from Waukegan, Illinois and holds degrees from Southern Illinois University and The University of Texas.

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Director Statement

Everybody's got an n-word story.
This film began with my research on the many racial names by which Americans of black African descent have been identified over the years. My focus soon shifted toward the n-word and my desire to track its origins as well as the experiences that Americans of all backgrounds have had with this word. I wasn't sure what responses I would get. It's not everyday that a man with a camera walks up to people and asks them about their first or most memorable experience with the n-word (with both the "er" and the "a"). The stories told by the many I interviewed, interspersed with the word's usage in America's news media, provided a compelling story that I wished to share.