Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The term Blacks is often used in the West to denote race for persons whose progenitors, usually in predominant part, were indigenous to West and sub-Saharan Africa. The term also can apply more broadly to persons whose ancestors formed early migratory waves of humanity from Africa in prehistoric times, including aboriginal Australians and Guineans; Tamils and other darker-skinned East Indians; and Sri Lankans and Pakistanis, etc., as well.
In many countries, there is still a strong (though weakening) social stigma against those persons identifying themselves as part of more than one perceived racial category. Hence, it may be truer to say that people who perceive themselves or are perceived by others as a member of a black cultural group often are called "black."
The term Negro (from negro, Spanish and Portuguese for 'black') was widely used until the 1960s, and remains a constituent part of the names of several African American organizations. However, following the Black Power movement of the 1960s and 1970s, the term Negro usually was deemed derogatory and inappropriate. By contrast, the English translation, "black," has gained increasing acceptance worldwide and in the United States often is used interchangeably with "African-American".
In English-speaking North America and some parts of Europe, mixed-race people with some African ancestry are often referred to simply as being "black," with no distinction made between them and people fully of African descent. In other places, persons of mixed race and part African descent are not called "black" due to caste systems in their countries of orgin. Some are called "white" because they have an especially light complexion or European-looking features. When such people are perceived as using their complexions to personal advantage by hiding or denying the African part of their heritage, it is often called "passing."
|Locale or language||Usage|
|Australia||Australian Aborigines are commonly called black.|
|Canada||Canadians use the term Black Canadian to refer to people with dark or African skin.|
|France||The French slang term black (pronounced the same as English, except in plural in which form the S is not pronounced) is a pseudo-anglicism, used only as a noun. In standard French, noir (literally, "black") is generally used.|
|Poland||The neutral Polish term for a black person is Murzyn (plural: Murzyni). The term czarnuch (pl. czarnuchy, from czarny = "black") is considered offensive.|
|Romania||Romanians use the term negri (blacks) to refer to African or African-American people, either in or outside Romania. Negri is not used to refer to other dark-skinned people, such as Pacific Islanders or Indians. The diminutive form negrotei might be occasionally considered offensive. The term cioroi or cioară, which also means crow is usually offensive.|
|Russia||Russians today apply the name chornyye (чёрные, Blacks) mostly not to Africans, but to people from Caucasus, which quite naturally belong to the Caucasian race. Africans are usually called negry (не́гры, Negroes).|
|United Kingdom||The term black Briton is sometimes used in the UK, but it is more common to use an adjectival rather than a noun term and write about black British people. Rarely the description is loosely used to also include what is actually a larger demographic, British people of south Asian descent. See also: British Afro-Caribbean community.|
|Italy||In Italy, black people (usually african immigrants, many of which from Senegal), can be called neri, while the similar term negri is highly offensive. Another derogatory expression is vu' cumpra' ("wanna buy?"), referred especially to black immigrants selling on streets or beaches. A borderline term is extracomunitari, that refers to the fact that these people come often from outside the European Economic Community (even if it now is called European Union); since this is never used to indicate Americans, Norwegians or Swiss, this term is often considered hypocritical.|
|United States||In the USA, African Americans are commonly called, and call themselves, black.|
|Latin America||A number of terms are used. The most politically correct form would be terms such as Afro-Mexican, Afro-Cuban, Afro-Brazilian, etc., or – on a continental basis – Afro-Latin American. Commonly used terms include negro (Sp. "Black"; note that this rarely carries a derrogatory meaning in Latin America.) and moreno (in the distant etymological past, a reference to the blackness of "los moros," or "the Moors"). Derrogatory terms do exist, however, such as chombo (used in South America).|
|Israel||"Schwartze," (from 'schwarz', German for 'black'), was a derogatory term to describe Sephardi Jewish immigrants, particularly from North Africa. The term has diminished in use especially after the arrival of the Beta Israel from Ethiopia. Other terms used by the Hebrew speaking world are "Kushim", meaning that their origins are in Kush, or "Yemenites." These terms generally are not considered offensive in any way.|
|Turkey||Zenci (Negro) is widely used for people of sub-Saharan ancestry. The once popular arap is now out of use and people who find Zenci derogatory prefer to use siyah (black) instead.|
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