How is more polite?Should I Say "Black" or "African American"?

@icesmile (7172)
Romania
July 17, 2009 6:17am CST
This is a real problem, when we talk about somebody who are black as color of skin. If we want be polite, and don t want offence, how we must say when we talk about somebody who have black skin? All people are same, have same rights, but when we must talk about somebody like this how is corect to use this words?
1 person likes this
10 responses
@commanderxo (1496)
• Canada
17 Jul 09
For one thing.....not ALL "blacks", are African-American. There ARE other countries besides America. If you really want to get past this: "pigment of skin" issue, then I suggest you just call the other person; "the other person", or he, or she. Unless the "color of skin" has a bearing on any topic(s) you are discussing, then it has NO bearing on the topic(s). cdrxo
@jonakyl (493)
• United States
17 Jul 09
There are also other countries they could come from besides Africa. I have a co-worker from Trinidad and Tobago. Definately not African-American (I live in U.S.)
1 person likes this
• Canada
23 Jul 09
Seeeeeee.....? That's 2 more; not mention...all the other Caribbean Islands. cdrxo
• Indonesia
17 Jul 09
why don't you just say his/her name or just 'he' or 'she'.. I think African American sounds more polite because that's the truth. I think if you just talk about them with your close friend, maybe you and your friend can use some code or other words to call them (but of course polite words)..
@jonakyl (493)
• United States
17 Jul 09
Isn't it racist to assume that just because someone is black they are from Africa? I know several people (and work with one) that are from the Caribbean and South America.
@jonakyl (493)
• United States
17 Jul 09
Not racist, stereotyping is a better word. Though there is a fine line between the two.
@matersfish (6311)
• United States
17 Jul 09
White is also a color, yet nobody ever, ever, never ever has a problem saying "white" people. There's no beef from people saying, "I demand to be called an Irish-American, or Italian-American, German-American," etc. My point is that if you're not meaning any disrespect, don't lose yourself in the inane political correctness of this stuff. "Black" is not disrespectful. Of course, this has to do with an individual, as well. I've had people take offense if I've said "black." I brought up the point that I'd like to be called Irish-Italian-American then, if that's the case. They didn't get it. ... and so goes the scale ...
@Ravenladyj (22937)
• United States
17 Jul 09
if you're not meaning any disrespect, don't lose yourself in the inane political correctness of this stuff. absolutely! I thnk ppl get too bent over petty things like this to be honest with you..and you are so right when you say NOBODY EVER EVER NEVER has a prob saying "white ppl"..
• Indonesia
17 Jul 09
why don't you just say his/her name or just 'he' or 'she'.. I think African American sounds more polite because that's the truth. I think if you just talk about them with your close friend, maybe you and your friend can use some code or other words to call them (but of course polite words)..
@Ravenladyj (22937)
• United States
17 Jul 09
I think African American sounds more polite because that's the truth. Hmmm I disagree...I'm Canadian, NOT African or American....and I'm black (mixed actually)....if ppl want or need to be specific when refering to my heritage then I'm actually Antiguian/Polish/Canadian but thats just too long...so black and/or Canadian works just fine for me
@jules67 (2790)
• Philippines
28 Jul 09
We have to be sensitive with how we call people from the minority group. Problem with race has been there for a long time. Unless we become accepting of other people, this would still persist. I once watched Oprah Winfrey where she said "people of color." I guess that is how we should properly address them. Color of skin should not separate us from one another. The difference should all the more unite us with each other.
@tigeraunt (6331)
• Philippines
28 Jul 09
i dont dwell on the color of the skin. i prefer to say Mr. or Mrs. or Miss to address him/her. dont you think it is much polite to call people like that? thank you so much for this very nice discussion. ann
@jonakyl (493)
• United States
17 Jul 09
Is it right to stereotype a person based on the color of their skin? What if they are from some of the Caribbean countries? What if they are from South America? Just because their skin is black doesn't mean they are from Africa.
@spalladino (17925)
• United States
17 Jul 09
It depends on where you are. When I lived in Maryland, and now down here in Florida, the term most often heard is simply "black". A black friend of mine once told me that the term "African American" made her feel like an immigrant from Africa, which she didn't consider herself to be. She considered herself to be an immigrant from Detroit.
• United States
17 Jul 09
The rule of what is polite or not, probably changes from locality to locality. For instance, African American will not make sense in AFrica! Nor will it in a non-american country! However, in Africa Black and colored are acceptable terms of identification, not in America! It is all very sensitive to the area in which you abide.
• Indonesia
17 Jul 09
why don't you just say his/her name or just 'he' or 'she'.. I think African American sounds more polite because that's the truth. I think if you just talk about them with your close friend, maybe you and your friend can use some code or other words to call them (but of course polite words)..