When did "Black" start replacing "negro"?

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Thu May 25 21:32:52 UTC 2006

Sam, you mean "When did 'Negro' become 'black'," right? Not the other
way around. Cap-N has been the norm since I learned to read ca.1940.
There's never been any consensus WRT "Black" vs. "black." Some people
who use(d) "Black" also use(d) "White." That parallelism makes sense
to me. My personal prefs, as has, no doubt, been noted, are for
"black," though I often facetiously use "colored," and "white."


On 5/24/06, Sam Clements <SClements at neo.rr.com> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Sam Clements <SClements at NEO.RR.COM>
> Subject:      When did "Black" start replacing "negro"?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> We're in a debate over at the Straight Dope.
> A poster pulled up what appears to be a cite from the Random House =
> Unabridged Dictionary:
> " In the late 1950s BLACK began to replace NEGRO and today is the most =
> widely used term."
> What percentage of polite people would have used "black" instead of =
> "negro" in 1959?  I didn't think "black" was used in any significant way =
> until the mid-late 1960's.  But I'm willing to listen to any evidence. =20
> I guess what I'm looking for is just "how significantly" did the word =
> "black" enter into the language before say, 1965?
> Sam Clements
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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