The NAACP kicked off its 98th annual convention this weekend and the lyrics in Hip-Hop music took center stage.
Chairman Julian Bond opened the convention on Saturday (July 8) and referenced rapper Jay-Z during a news conference, while pioneers Eric B. and Kurtis Blow are leading a ceremonial burying of the “n word.”
“We don’t believe it’s a violation of the First Amendment to say to somebody you ought not to talk that way, you ought not denigrate women, you ought not condemn people because of the color of their skin,” Bond said during a press conference on opening day. “I heard somebody say that when Jay-Z talks about ho’s, he gets a gold record. When Don Imus talks about ho’s, he gets fired. We believe in equal justice and equal justice for everyone.”
Meanwhile rap pioneers Eric B. and Kurtis Blow will lead a mock funeral for the “n word” today (July 9).Participants will march from Cobo Center to Hart Plaza, where they will bury the word as part of the NAACP’s “STOP” campaign, which is aimed at ending negative images of blacks in popular media, not just rap music.The burial comes almost 60 years after a similar funeral in Detroit for the Jim Crow Laws.Prominent speakers include: U.S. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, Eddie Levert, Mo’Nique, Michael Chertoff, secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Soledad O’Brien , anchor and special correspondent for CNN; Bishop Philip Robert Cousin, Sr. , Senior Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church; Kwame M. Kilpatrick, Mayor, City of Detroit; Julian Bond, Chairman, NAACP National Board of Directors; and Dennis C. Hayes , Interim NAACP President and CEO. Over 8,000 people will attend the convention, which started July 7 and ends July 12.