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This Day in Black History: April 5, 2007

Radio personality Don Imus called the Rutgers women's basketvall team "nappy-headed h---."

Radio show host and humorist Don Imus pushed listeners' buttons when he used derogatory remarks to describe the Rutgers' University women's basketball team on April 5, 2007.
During a conversation about the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship on Imus in the Morning, Imus referred to the players as "nappy-headed h--." When criticism started pouring in against the statements made on-air, Imus defended himself by saying that the term is often used by rappers to describe African-American women.

"That phrase [nappy-headed h-] didn't originate in the white community," Imus said. "That phrase originated in the Black community. Young Black women all through that society are demeaned and disparaged and disrespected by their own Black men, and they are called that name in Black hip hop."

Imus later issued an apology, saying it was insensitive and inappropriate, and on Al Sharpton's radio talk show admitted that he had taken the joke too far. While there were those who called for Imus to be fired, others cited free speech and said his apology should be enough — including the Rutgers team.
Eventually, CBS Radio decided to cancel Imus in the Morning.
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(Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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