bigger than don imus

Don Imus’s return to the airwaves has reenergized the discussion about the disparaging comments he made about the Rutger’s women’s basketball that got him fired in the first place, and more generally, about free speech, hate speech, racist and sexist speech and what to do about it. Whether or not they were couched as a joke, Imus’s remarks speak to some larger truths about the American cultural imaginary and black women’s place within it. It’s bigger than Imus, Glamour magazine, and hip hop. And while I’m not in favor of censorship, it’s important that black women continue to talk back and speak out not only against sexualized racist remarks but also against the physical violence that is perpetuated against black women and women of all races everyday.


About jennifer williams

Jennifer D. Williams is a writer and professor of English and Women's and Gender Studies. She has published in academic journals and online at, PopMatters, among other sites. Jennifer is currently working on a book that looks at black women's urban literature between the Depression and the civil rights era.

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