what is the correct term? Watch

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_EMMA_
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me and some classmates once asked my english teaher for an oral what would be the correct term between black people, african american, coloured etc. where i got the answer african american. at first we thought that this sounded weird because if you call someone african american you don't see them as american, cause there is african before. isn't that more discriminating? on the other hand the terms black and white seems too offensive, but what are you going to use then? what terms are you supposed to use for different races without sounding discriminating?
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Sam2k
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I have always understood it to be more polite to say African American. I don't know why we call them that but better that then black or n*****.
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sashh
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I tend to use the term black.

I was discussing this with a friend, she said when she was a child she was 'coloured' and quite happy with the term. She thought it was a nice term because flowers are coloured.

As she got older she had pressure put on her to use the term black. I think she'd be really offended if I called her african, she's really proud of her Jamaican routes.

It's probably one of those terms that is OK in some situations but not in others.

In the Uk (and the term UK upsets some people) we use 'disabled' rather than 'handicapped'.

But there is a soloution to this - you could always ask someone what term they prefer.
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Vienna
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(Original post by _EMMA_)
me and some classmates once asked my english teaher for an oral what would be the correct term between black people, african american, coloured etc. where i got the answer african american. at first we thought that this sounded weird because if you call someone african american you don't see them as american, cause there is african before. isn't that more discriminating? on the other hand the terms black and white seems too offensive, but what are you going to use then? what terms are you supposed to use for different races without sounding discriminating?
if you are talking specifically about american citizens who originate from an african nation, than african american is appropriate.

otherwise, not.
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_EMMA_
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(Original post by vienna95)
if you are talking specifically about american citizens who originate from an african nation, than african american is appropriate.

otherwise, not.
even though it is not the first generation?
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Chubb
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#6
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Just ignore the PC people who seem to think that people take offence to being called black or white - nobody does in reality.
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mobbdeeprob
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#7
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Black.
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mobbdeeprob
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#8
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(Original post by piginapoke)
negro
'negroid'
Avoid, avoid.
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Nik P
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one must also avoid words such as cracker and honky...
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blissy
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I spoke to an American about this and he called it being a "double-barrelled-American" (e.g. Irish-American, Italian-American, African-American, Latin-American). He personally didn't approve of the fact that people didn't want to be just "American", although I don't see how that really matters as no country is a cohesive whole.
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mobbdeeprob
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(Original post by piginapoke)
They are the 'proper' terms though. Although some people may take offense (god knows why) if they are used in speech.
Maybe because they have taken on certain negative connotations in modern usage - hence why most dictionaries would put 'offensive' particularly by one of them.
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blissy
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(Original post by mobbdeeprob)
Maybe because they have taken on certain negative connotations in modern usage - hence why most dictionaries would put 'offensive' particularly by one of them.
Thought I saw the word "negro" on a black crayon when I was in Italy. Looked up the Latin:

niger -gra -grum [black , dark-colored; blackening; bad, unlucky]; n. as subst. [a black spot].

So it does seem to have negative connotations rather than just being descriptive of a colour.

As an aside, maybe I should start calling myself Viking-British in order to explain my bizarre surname?
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Do Chickens Fly
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The most correct term would be the one that is least subjective. Perhaps the generic latin name for the race and species, as in taxonomy, would be most correct.
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icklehc
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ive heard that black is correct whereas coloured is not?
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Jonatan
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#15
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(Original post by _EMMA_)
me and some classmates once asked my english teaher for an oral what would be the correct term between black people, african american, coloured etc. where i got the answer african american. at first we thought that this sounded weird because if you call someone african american you don't see them as american, cause there is african before. isn't that more discriminating? on the other hand the terms black and white seems too offensive, but what are you going to use then? what terms are you supposed to use for different races without sounding discriminating?
In my opinion a part of recognising Blacks as equals is not to over patronise them. Thus I think you could say Black. Btw: As inter racial relationships are so widely accepted these days I think perhaps the terms black and white are a bit outdatd. You could easily go out on town and find enough people to create a grayscale from carbon black to snow white. If you have to refer to someones skin color then I think you have to consider the context. If you are to give someone a description of teh eprsons appearance you could say that the person has dark skin, if you are to argue whether humans rights are respected I think it is ok to say that blacks are often discriminated against etc...
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Adhsur
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I've been told that the correct version is "Afro-carribean"...bah! It's so difficult. I wish we weren't under all this linguistic dogma and be able to say black or whatvever. As long as people know it is not intended to offend or discriminate.

But "black" is a bit of a dodgy term as it refers to their colour and not many are jet black. I once referred to my penpal as black and she took offence and replied that she is not black but "coloured".
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blissy
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(Original post by Adhsur)
But "black" is a bit of a dodgy term as it refers to their colour and not many are jet black. I once referred to my penpal as black and she took offence and replied that she is not black but "coloured".
Reminds me of Ricki Lake (or something similar) where a lady called herself a "woman of colour". Which in turn reminds me of a 44 stone Texan woman who called herself a "woman of size". <strange mind ramblings going on>

It's difficult now as how we term people has obviously become so personal - each person seems to have a preference when it comes to the term used to describe their skin colour. I'm sticking with black until asked not to by someone who prefers something else.
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mobbdeeprob
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(Original post by blissy)
Thought I saw the word "negro" on a black crayon when I was in Italy. Looked up the Latin:

niger -gra -grum [black , dark-colored; blackening; bad, unlucky]; n. as subst. [a black spot].

So it does seem to have negative connotations rather than just being descriptive of a colour.

As an aside, maybe I should start calling myself Viking-British in order to explain my bizarre surname?
I would definitely agree with the above, and I've noticed it myself. I think the word is similar/the same in Spanish.
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mobbdeeprob
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(Original post by Adhsur)
I've been told that the correct version is "Afro-carribean"...bah! It's so difficult. I wish we weren't under all this linguistic dogma and be able to say black or whatvever. As long as people know it is not intended to offend or discriminate.

But "black" is a bit of a dodgy term as it refers to their colour and not many are jet black. I once referred to my penpal as black and she took offence and replied that she is not black but "coloured".
Strange - I dislike the term "coloured". We're a fickle bunch.

I think a lot of the accepted nomentclature varies according to where you are in the world though. But I just prefer to be called "black".
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_EMMA_
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(Original post by blissy)

As an aside, maybe I should start calling myself Viking-British in order to explain my bizarre surname?
viking-british?! scandinavian ancestor or relatives?
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