"Nigger" was a pejorative and generally offensive word that meant African-American. Its insult was plain when seen in the context of typical speech by pro-slavery Colonel Jubal Eustace during the American Civil War:
"You can't befriend a nigger! They're property. No better than a plough or an ox! Would you try to make friends with an ox?"
It was a word Peri Brown hated. It was also a word that she had heard was re-appropriated by the African-American community sometime after the 1980s. Nevertheless it was a word she despised.