Forget 'Negro' and 'Black,' Bring Back 'Colored'

Reid affair offers opportunity to rethink terms for black Americans
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2010 7:20 AM CST
"Negro" and "Afro-American" have for the most part entered and exited the lexicon, but "COLORED" remains on the NAACP's official seal, notes Jefferson.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

(Newser) – The controversy over Harry Reid's use of the word "negro," along with its inclusion in US census forms, has opened up a chance to settle the debate over what black Americans should call themselves once and for all, Cord Jefferson writes at The Root, suggesting "colored" be revived.

Using "African American" is inaccurate in light of the fact that there are plenty of white Africans, Jefferson writes, and while "black" works as a catch-all, it ignores the huge diversity in skin tones. "Black just seems so damn inaccurate. (I've never seen a truly black person.)" The word "colored" may be outdated but it deserves a new lease on life, he argues, noting that the best-known black organization in the world, the NAACP, has used the word "colored" proudly in its name since its inception.

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