Despite the historic association of the N word with hatred and oppression, as well as disapproval from within the African American community, nigga, a form of the N word, has been used by African Americans for intragroup self-reference for centuries. This chapter employs data from narratives by socially conscious African American comedians to investigate the question of why the term endures. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of work by these comedians shows that the term persists because it carries a social meaning that is foundational to the identity of African Americans. Users of the term are aiming to construct their identity as survivors who are consciously aware of the history and significance of the diaspora experience. Nigga has the capacity to convey a range of attitudinal stances that layer over its basic meaning. These include solidarity and a provocative stance that advocates working for positive change.