FLATBUSH - Abolishing the "N" word and raising awareness about Black History Month was on the agenda Thursday as lawmakers and advocacy groups gathered on the steps of City Hall.

Councilman Leroy Comrie Jr. (D-27th District) is pushing for a symbolic moratorium against using the word during the month of February. Comrie says the moratorium, which does not carry any penalties, is meant to draw attention to the problem of using the "N" word. Lawmakers have also planned a Black History Month essay contest for city middle school students to focus on the topic.

Abolish The N-Word Project Inc. has been working for the same cause. The organization holds events around the city to draw attention to what some call a disrespectful and painful word. However, others say the "N" word has fallen into common use and shouldn?t stir the intense emotional reactions it does.