Imagine listening to the radio or watching television without ever hearing the derogatory terms and racial epithets such as “b—-,” “ho,” or “n—-.” This might sound like a far-fetched dream now, but a new campaign launched by the Reverend Al Sharpton is working to make it a reality.

On the heels of the NAACP’s mock burial of the N-word in Detroit earlier this month, and the controversial “roboho” comment made by about Beyonce’s wardrobe during her BET Awards performance, Sharpton and his National Action Network (NAN) are kicking off a nationwide protest against the use of these three words in popular culture. Will it work?

On August 7th, dubbed “A National Women’s Day of Outrage,” the NAN’s Decency Initiative, which was founded to address standards in the media and entertainment industries, plans to parade the streets of 20 cities. In each city, 100 women will gather outside of the office of a major music distributor to denounce the use of sexist and racist lyrics in hopes to pressure labels to clean up their musical acts.

“No other ethnic group is subject to denigration for profit by the music industry,” said Tamika Mallory, National Director of the Decency Initiative. “The Decency Initiative will continue to demand a universal standard of respect, particularly for all women and African Americans.”

The 20 cities are New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Detroit, Atlanta, Miami, Washington, D.C., Dallas, TX, Jacksonville, FL, Kansa City, MO, Phoenix, AZ, Stamford, CT, Philadelphia, PA, Columbia, SC, Houston, TX, Richmond, VA, Baltimore, MD, Augusta, GA, and Newark, NJ.

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To get involved in your city contact the National Action Network at (212) 690-3070 or log on to “”.

Talk about it: Are you offended by these three words enough to protest them? Do you think “A National Women’s Day of Outrage” will foster change in the music industry?


Photo Credit: Peter Chin

The Rev. Al Sharpton