You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

U.S.

  • Camel maker Reynolds snuffs out workplace smoking
     RICHMOND, Va. – Camel cigarette maker Reynolds American Inc. is snuffing out smoking in its offices and buildings.
  • 'Outsourcing' changes Georgia race in closing days
     MARIETTA, Ga. – Georgia Democrat Michelle Nunn has spent the past month hammering away at Republican David Perdue’s career as a business executive, making a dispute over his role in outsourcing jobs the hallmark of her
  • Man apprehended after jumping White House fence
     WASHINGTON – A 23-year-old Maryland man is in custody after he climbed over the White House fence Wednesday night and was swiftly apprehended on the North Lawn by uniformed Secret Service agents and their dogs.
Advertisement

Term ‘Negro’ cast off for census surveys

– After more than a century, the Census Bureau is dropping its use of the word “Negro” to describe black Americans in surveys.

Instead of the term that came into use during the Jim Crow era of racial segregation, census forms will use the more modern labels “black” or “African-American.”

The change will take effect next year when the Census Bureau distributes its annual American Community Survey to more than 3.5 million U.S. households, Nicholas Jones, chief of the bureau’s racial statistics branch, said in an interview.

He pointed to months of public feedback and census research that concluded few black Americans still identify with being Negro and many view the term as “offensive and outdated.”

“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, who writes frequently on race and ethnicity.

Starting with the 1960s civil rights movement, black activists began to reject the “Negro” label and came to identify themselves as black or African-American.

Still, the term has lingered, having been used by Martin Luther King Jr. in his speeches.

It also remains in the names of some black empowerment groups that were established before the 1960s, such as the United Negro College Fund, now often referred to as UNCF.

When asked to mark their race, Americans are currently given a choice of five government-defined categories in census surveys, including one checkbox selection which is described as “black, African Am., or Negro.”

Beginning with the surveys next year, that selection will simply say “black” or “African American.”

Advertisement