A white man who attended a Negro civil rights rally as a spectator might well be puzzled to hear a speaker say "Now let's get down to the nitty-gritty."....
When U.S. Negroes talk to one an other, their speech is often marbled with expressions incomprehensible to whites. Since slavery days, Negroes have created an ever-changing argot of their own, full of ambiguities, tinged with humor and sorrow.
Some of those incomprehensibilities that are pretty comprehensible 45 years later: "put down," "busted," "fuzz," and "fox." The article also explains "ace boon coon," which is still in circulation but probably wouldn't make the pages of Time today unless it was a direct quote.
UCB adds his own memories:
When I was coming up, only black folks would say “from the get-go.” Now, only white folks say it.
“Mickey D’s” is another one. That went from black slang to corporate asset in one generation. McDonald’s calls itself Mickey D’s nowadays. I even saw it on a McDonald’s receipt one time.
But as years pass, white people tend to forget where these words came from. Us too. I didn’t know, until I bought the Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, that “the Big Apple” was originally black slang for New York.
I didn't know that either.