The Census Bureau is finally dropping its century-old reference to black Americans as “Negros,” and adopting more modern-day lingo — “black” or “African American.”
The change goes into effect next year, The Associated Press reports. That’s when the next American Community Survey is due for distribution to an estimated 3.5 million homes, AP reported.
The use of Negro stems from 1900, when it replaced the term “colored,” AP reports. In the 1960s, blacks then began identifying themselves as “blacks,” or “African Americans.” Few nowadays use the term Negro at all, and many find it offensive, said Nicholas Jones, chief of the racial statistics branch at the Census Bureau, according to AP.
“This is a reflection of changing times, changing vocabularies and changing understandings of what race means in this country, said Matthew Snipp, a sociology professor at Stanford University, quoted by AP. “For younger African Americans, the term Negro harkens back to the era when African Americans were second-class citizens in this country.”
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Cheryl Chumley is a continuous news writer for The Washington Times. Previously, she was part of the start-up team for The Washington Times’ digital aggregation product, Times247. She’s also a 2008-2009 Robert Novak journalism fellow with The Phillips Foundation. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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