The NAACP is putting to rest a long-standing expression of racism in a ceremony similar to one six decades ago.
The civil rights organization will hold a public burial for the N-word Monday during its annual convention in Detroit.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People delegates from across the country were expected to gather Monday morning at Detroit’s Cobo Center and march about a quarter-mile to Hart Plaza for the ceremony and rally.
The N-word has been used as a slur against blacks for more than a century. It remains a symbol of racism, but also is used by blacks when referring to other blacks, especially in comedy routines and rap and hip-hop music.
NAACP National Board Chairman Julian Bond repeated the call during the opening address Sunday night for the 98th annual convention, which runs through Thursday.
“While we are happy to have sent a certain radio cowboy back to his ranch, we ought to hold ourselves to the same standard,” Bond said. “If he can’t refer to our women as ‘hos,’ then we shouldn’t either.”
Black leaders, including the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, have challenged the entertainment industry and the American public to stop using the N-word and other racial slurs.
The NAACP held a symbolic funeral in Detroit in 1944 for Jim Crow, 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.