"black," adj. = non-African American

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Mar 4 23:46:33 UTC 2007

At 2:17 PM -0800 3/4/07, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>Juan Williamson of NPR has just referred to "questions of whether
>Obama is authentically black because his father was from Africa."
>   O ye unbelievers: no change in tone to indicate radio "air quotes"
>around anything.
>   JL

But wouldn't "black" here be in fact = African-American?  It's that
property (or its "authentic" application) that's being questioned
here (i.e. because his ancestors weren't slaves).  What brings his
"black"ness per se into doubt in some quarters is the fact that his
mother was white, and in fact apparently descended from slaveholders.
So say the right-wing bloggers and/or Hillary's agents, anyway.


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

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