Actually, it’s an old one.
There’s been a lot of problems trying to find a good name for black people. Most names have a valid objections.
“Black,” has some negative connotations. Black is the color of evil. Darth Vader wore black, the bad guy wears black. If there are black people and white people, who do you think the good guy is?
I wouldn’t want to be “black.”
So, I see the problem with “black.”
“Colored” has negative connotations as well. Their not normal people, they’ve been “colored.” They’ve been marked or changed. Plus, it’s reminiscent of the whole segregation thing. Same with being a “person of color.”
“African American,” or “Afro-American” just don’t sound right. They’re artificial. They’re not even accurate. Most black Americans are really mixed. Is Tiger Woods an “African American?” If I understand it, his dad had some white blood and his Mom was Asian. Is he an Afro-Asian American? Tri-Continental? Most black people aren’t really African. They’re just American. If we start naming everybody by what continent they’re ancestors come from, things are going to get complicated.
There’s somethings like “Mulatto,” and “Redbone,” and “negro” that aren’t very good, as well as the perjoratives.
“Chocolate?” Nyahhh. Then what does that make me, a perpermint? I guess it would make Peppermint Patty somewhat ahead of her time, but naming various ethnic types after candy is just too silly.
“Black” tends to stick around in spite of its problems because it sounds good, it’s basic, simple, and descriptive.
We need something with the good qualities of “black” without the negative undertones.
Well, I found it.
Monday I was watching “Antiques Roadshow” on PBS and they had an old Seaman’s Certificate of Freedom or somesuch for a “Negro” that dated back to the 1700s.
The man is described in the certificate, and they call the color of his skin “Sable.”
“Sable” is accurate, it’s descriptive, it’s short, it’s catchy, it’s kind of cool. It’s not objectionable.
It even accurately describes the skin color better than “black.”
If I was black I wouldn’t mind having being “Sable.”
Maybe if Jesse Jackson had come up with “Sable” instead of “Afro-American,” the world would be a better place.