The Power of the Word

By Eric D. Graham
Updated: April 22, 2008

“Sticks and stones may brake my bones, but words will never hurt me…”

NORTH CAROLINA — But it was the “ugly, venomous,sexist, racist words spoken by MSNBC radio shock jock Don Imus on April 4, 2007 that hurt the ladies of Rutgers University aswell as the rest of the world.

In a short yet simple text message from former NBA All-Star Moses Malone to coach C.Vivian Stringer summarize how we all felt as a nation after hearing Imus’s words: “They hurt our girls”

“That short message encapsulated everything I had been feeling. I just put my head down and wept” said Coach Stringer in her new book entitled “Standing Tall.”

“Stick and stones may brake my bones, but your words just broke my heart.”

Those are some….”nappy-headed hoes…”

Metaphysically, these racist and sexist words that pierced our hearts historically were spoken on April 4th, the same day that Dr.Martin Luther King Jr. was shot down by the gun of an assassin’s bullet.

That’s right Imus comments were made on April 4, 2007. I know you are shocked!! Isn’t it amazing how the spirit works.

Different yet the same, Imus’s words were also a form of assassination that struck our souls and spirit, which is known as character assassination. Imus’s hurtful words contradicts the very words that Dr. King stated in a 1962 speech:

“I still have a dream this morning that one day every Negro in this country, every colored person in the world, will be judged on the basis of the content of his character rather than the color of his skin…”

40 years later, King’s dream has still fallen short to deaf ears.

“Sticks and stones may brake my bones but words can really hurt me.”

Those are some “nappy headed hoes..”

In the Book of Proverbs chapter 10:32, it states: “The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable but the mouth of the wicked speak contrary.

We must all remember this scripture, whether we are a sports reporter like Jason Whitlock, a preacher like Jeremiah Wright, or a comedian like Chris Rock, because words have power.

Let’s have a little Sunday school. Amen.

In the Holy Bible, it states “In the beginning was the word….and the Word was God….and the Word was made flesh” As a result, the most powerful thing on the planet is a Black man or Black woman and a microphone.

As the great poet, Nasir Jones, who stated all I need is one mic. And he is and was absolutely right. With only one mic, the power of the human voice can change the condition of the world, it can change attitudes, shape realities, build civilizations and even crumble corrupt governments.

Historically, it has only been the word not weapons that have created movements upon our people. Whether it was the divine words coming through to divine essence of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, who stated “Accept your own; And be yourself.

Or the Honorable Marcus Garvey, who stated “Up you Mighty Race; Accomplish What you Can”

Or maybe, Minister Louis Farrakhan during the historical Million Man March when he stated: “Ye are all gods; children of the MOST HIGH!!

Malcom X “By All Means Necessary!”

Fannie Lou Hamer “I am sick and tired of being sick a tired!!”

Sojourner Truth: “Am I not a Woman?

Kwame Ture’…”Black Power!!”

Muhammad Ali: “I am the Greatest”

James Brown. “Say It Loud: I’m Black and I’m Proud!”

Jesse Jackson “Keep Hope Alive”

And now presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama with “Yes, I Can.”

We, of course must move from slogans to action. We, you, and me have the power even if we are rich or poor. So don’t be afraid to utilize your voice to speak out against injustice, racism, sexism, domestic violence, police brutality or even the war.

But our words don’t have to always be to condemn or criticize, let’s use our words also to praise and uplift. So, speak a word of encouragement to a child, tell your mom and dad you love them, tell a teacher she is doing a good job, tell a preacher to keep preaching and save another lost soul.

Spread the word; share some good news because there is power in the Word.