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On April 4, 2007, radio talk show host Don Imus went on the air and called the Rutgers University women's basketball players "nappy-headed hos."

Those three words stirred up a firestorm of controversy and led to the cancellation of his radio show…but the debate didn't end there. Imus's remark has opened the door for a discussion that Oprah says she's wanted to have for years.

This radio "shock jock" isn't the only one accused of demeaning women in the media. For decades, women—particularly African-American women—have been referred to as "hos" and "bitches" on television, movies and in popular music. Members of the African-American community are also guilty of using derogatory language to refer to black women.

Imus may be off the air, but the problem persists. Dr. Maya Angelou, a black woman who says she's also been the butt of Imus's jokes, asks the question that's on many people's minds. "Isn't it ironic—poetically ironic—that here we are with the chance to say, 'What comes next?'" she says.
FROM: After Imus: Now What?
Published on January 01, 2006


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