ARTICLE FOR THE MORE LITERATE;
NAACP Buries The 'N' Word During Detroit Funeral
Published: Monday - July 9, 2007
Words by Allen Starbury
There was a funeral held in the streets of Detroit Monday morning (July 9), but no one died. A pine casket, pulled through the streets by a horse and carriage, but there was no body inside. It was a symbolic funeral -- for the "N" word.
According to reports from the Detroit Free Press, thousands were gathered at Detroit's Hart Plaza to bare witness to the mock funeral, which they hold will end the use of the derogatory word by everyone.
The funeral, which was held by NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), was a part of a national convention being held in downtown Detroit this week and was attended by Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and NAACP Chairman Julian Bond.
"Good riddance to this vestige of slavery and racism, and say hello to a new country that invests in all its people," said Granholm, who also said she was proud the event took place in her state.
During the service, Mayor Kilpatrick urged black men to take a stand and stop disrespecting themselves and black women. "You can't just bury the 'N' word. You have to bury all the nonsense that comes with it," Kilpatrick said, according to the Detroit Free Press. "Good riddance. Die 'N' word. We don't want to see you around here no more."
NAACP's burial of the "N" word comes after public discussion began after "Seinfeld" actor Michael Richards used the word repeatedly out of anger while on stage at Los Angeles' Comedy Store last year, and more recently Don Imus' derogatory use of the words "nappy headed hoes" to describe black members of Rutger's women's basketball team.
The two incidents have sparked public debate within the black community, the America public and among important black figures such as Al Sharpton, Russell Simmons and Jesse Jackson.
NAACP's Chairman Julian Bond repeated the Imus call during the opening address Sunday night (July
for the 98th annual convention, saying that if Imus can't call "our women as 'hos,' then we shouldn't either."
The paper reports that hip-hop legend Kurtis Blow, R&B singer Eddie Levert, Daryl Matthews (general president of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity), and Olrick Johnson Jr., a former NFL player, served as honorary pallbearers at the funeral.
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