Detroit NAACP to Hold Symbolic Funeral for 'N' Word

The NAACP held a symbolic funeral in Detroit 63 years ago for Jim Crow.

The civil rights organization will do the same this summer for the "N" word, the Rev. Wendell Anthony said Sunday.

The announcement by Anthony, president of the civil rights organization's Detroit branch, came shortly before the start of the annual Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner. He said members and supporters of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will conduct services and a "eulogy" for the racial slur.

Jim Crow was the systematic, mostly Southern practice of discrimination against and segregation of blacks from the end of post-Civil War reconstruction into the mid-20th century.

This year's mock funeral will be held during the NAACP national convention July 7-12 in Detroit. It comes in the wake of the controversy over comments made by talk show host Don Imus.

Imus made derogatory remarks about black members of the Rutgers University women's basketball team. He was fired in early April by CBS Radio and NBC, but not until major companies like General Motors pulled their advertising spots.

Imus didn't use the "N" word in those comments, but the NAACP wants to stop the use of that racial slur by everyone, including blacks, Anthony said.

"We are committed to ending hate — word and talk," he said. "It doesn't do anyone any good, whether it's a journalist on TV or a rapper on the radio.

"Now that corporate America has caught up, maybe something will happen. We have to stop investing in stuff that is killing us."