black(redirected from African American)
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blacka term used to refer to a variety of non-white ethnic groups. Black is a preferred form, especially among ethnic groups of African origins, reflecting a pride and identity in being black. The use of the term is associated with the rise of black political activism in the US in the 1960s, and is reflected in the slogan ‘Black is Beautiful’. Other terms to describe black people, such as coloured, Negro or Negress, are now generally considered offensive.
In the UK (and elsewhere), however, there is controversy about the use of the term to describe ‘non-white’ persons of Asian origin. Many Asians object to the use of the word ‘black’ to describe them and argue that this usage confuses the identity of a large number of very different ethnic groups such as Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Indians, West Indians, Africans and so on. The counter argument is that ‘non-white’ persons in the UK can be subject to DISCRIMINATION and institutionalized RACISM whatever their ethnic or national origins. In this sense, groups of both African and Asian origin share, to a significant extent, a common experience. See also BLACK POWER MOVEMENT, NEGRITUDE.