"People of color" was; Re: Whom Hispanics call "Hispanic" -- or not

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Thu May 28 14:39:47 UTC 2009

At 5/28/2009 09:54 AM, Baker, John wrote:
>         When "person of color" first became popular, back in the early

Just a historical note, recalling that Paul Johnston mentioned the
use of "nonwhite"in the 19th century:

The phrase "person of color" was quite common from the early 19th
century, circa 1815 on, in the various laws controlling them (in many
cases, in "negro, mulatto, or person of color").  It was also used,
for a while, by some blacks to refer to themselves (other blacks were
critical of that term).


>the idea was that it applied on a world stage and was reflective
>more generally of the conflicts between the wealthy North and the poorer
>but more populous South.  So, no, a Chinese person of this worldview
>would not refer to whites as "persons of color"; that term refers to
>Asians, Africans, Latin Americans, African-Americans, etc.  I probably
>should have put "minority" in quotes in my original post, since part of
>the point is that persons of color are not really in the minority.
>         With Asia becoming more ascendant, I'm not sure if Chinese or
>Japanese people would still consider themselves persons of color (or,
>indeed, if Japanese people ever did, since Japan was riding pretty high
>in the early 1980s).
>John Baker
>-----Original Message-----
>From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
>Of Joel S. Berson
>Sent: Thursday, May 28, 2009 9:25 AM
>Subject: Re: "People of color" was; Re: Whom Hispanics call "Hispanic"
>-- or not
>At 5/27/2009 05:59 PM, Baker, John wrote:
> >        I think that's pretty standard.  I understand "person of color"
> >to refer to any racial or ethnic minority.
>Do the "yellow races" in China, Japan, etc., refer to the minority
>whites as "persons of color"?
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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