Explanatory Notes: The word 'nigger' is used a lot in prison. I don't know why, exactly. It's a vocal ideogram that's become fashionable inside, and the root word of a lexicon as common as cornflakes. Color is not the determining factor, either (although it's one of them), when deciding to call someone "my nigga." I am obliged to report here that I, a fifty-year-old white guy, have been "my nigga" plenty of times. It's sometimes a term of bonding, sometimes used derisively, and almost always demeaning, although not in the way you might expect. "Hey, my nigga!" means something like: "Hi, asshole. You're a nigger just like I'm a nigger, so don't get uppity!" The term is not easy to get used to and, I'm told, infuriates members of the black middle class, who have spent so many years teaching Americans not to use the word.
I am a federal prisoner being held by the state of Florida now, by the way. And in the feds there was a more diverse population. F.C.I. Texarkana, my former federal home, was 70% Central American, so the term "nigger" was not as ubiquitous. But in the Florida D.O.C., and especially when I was an inmate of "the triangle" (F.S.P. Work Camp and New River "C."I. in Starke/Raiford), everyone around me was a nigger, except of course the black guards. They were African Americans, which fact is the drawstring for my story here, a story about Florida "Crackers" and "Niggas" on 'a 'pound'." It's also about an African American hack with an enigmatic mind the scope of which did not in the least boggle me, and a Thor-like body which did.
River Junction Work Camp