Main | Tuesday, February 26, 2013

US Census Drops "Negro"

The US Census will no longer ask citizens if they consider themselves to be "Negro."
The description has come to be viewed as outdated and even offensive by many people in the black community, officials say, so the bureau will reduce the options to "black" or "African-American." The agency will include the new language next year in its annual American Community Survey, which reaches upwards of 3.5 million households in the United States. The term's use dates back five centuries to when Portuguese and Spanish explorers used their languages' word for black to describe the people of sub-Saharan African.
The first census in 1790 had three categories: free whites, all other free persons, and slaves. The term "Negro" was first used in 1900. 

RELATED: In 2008 the United Negro College Fund rebranded itself as the UNCF but elected to keep "Negro" in its formal name despite some calls for a full change.  The UNCF's motto, "A Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Waste," is widely considered one of the most successful advertising slogans in history.

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