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 opened the door for a national discussion that Oprah says she's wanted to have for years. During two special shows, Oprah brought together writers, thinkers and hip-hop industry executives to discuss the use of sexist and racist language in music and media.
A few days later, music executive Russell Simmons released a statement on behalf of the Hip-Hop Action Network calling for a ban of the words ho, bitch and the n-word from music that's played on the radio. The Reverend Al Sharpton also took action. He led a march to the top three record companies in New York City and protested the use of offensive language.
Oprah says these actions are a step in the right direction, but there are still important questions that need to be addressed. "What is at the heart of all of this?" she asks. "How do we begin to change the landscape for millions of American children who are growing up without fathers and many without any positive role models in their lives?"
Some people are stepping up and making a difference in the lives of America's youth. Hill Harper, an actor on the hit TV show CSI: New York, is one of them. Before becoming an actor, Hill graduated magna cum laude from Brown University and earned both a master's and a law degree from Harvard.
Now, he's using his intelligence and life experiences to help young men everywhere. In his award-winning book, Letters to a Young Brother, Hill shares practical advice and stresses the importance of education.