Years before Don Imus made national headlines, Diane Weathers, the former editor in chief of Essence magazine, dealt with negative attitudes toward women on a personal level.
Diane says her daughter came home from elementary school one day in tears because a classmate called her a "ho." "It's the most difficult thing in the world to have to sit down with a 10- or 11-year-old and explain to her what a 'ho' is, that the word is actually 'whore,'" she says.
Young black girls aren't the only ones impacted by today's society, she says. "It's not just the denigration of women. It's the denigration of men. Black boys are given such a one dimensional, narrow image of what it is to be a black man," she says. "It's impacting the relationships between young black girls and young black men."