Posted by: admiralfrum | November 11, 2009

An Unusual Last Name

He's the one in the middle

A friend of mine, a freshman, is related to the famous Yiddish critic, Shmuel Nigger. We asked him how he came to have such a charged name – I was shocked when I first read that name, even despite the African-American solidarity that is present in Yiddish poetry. So it turns out that his family was from Russia, where their family name was Tcharnie, Russian for ‘black’. When he came to America he changed it to ‘Nigger’. Go figure.


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