A new name for black people?

Names are names are names. What they mean is what we make them to mean.
Negro wasn’t a bad word until society made it a bad word. Nigger wasn’t either. It was a way to describe black people. Now black isn’t even OK. It’s African American. Because society seems to have said that black is now bad.

But they’re just words. Sable is a word and it sounds cool to you but others in this thread have a problem with it. Even if you could convince everyone in the population that sable is a kick ass description, that doesn’t mean that 10 years down the line someone down the line won’t rise up and protest the adjective. “We want to be called mahogany!” Well wonderful. That doesn’t change who you are.

You really don’t have to quote my entire OP?

People you say?


Are you sure?

Yeah, gee great idea. Black people are human. Thanks. I’ll try to remember that they’re people. Thanks so much for enlightening me.

Maybe since you quoted the Op in its entirety, you might have understood that I was referring to what appelation we use when describing the skin color of some particular people.

Next, I suppose you’re going to try to tell me that blondes are people too.

I know better.

Actually I would disagree that this is a fact. To the contrary most black people I know, prefer and/or are comfortable with black ( an anecdotal bit of evidence, but not one I’m willing to dismiss ). At any rate it is unimportant - Call individuals whatever they prefer to be called.

  • Tamerlane

I prefer “Oh Great One,” or “Lord.”

In my world, sable is a smoked fish, often served along with lox.

In fact, when my mom heard about the Mercury Sable, the first thing she said was “why would they name a car after smoked fish?”

[celestina scratching her head]

I like “black.” I don’t see anything negative about it. Perhaps I’m just being naive about things. [shrug] Peppermint, however, tastes good, and I just love peaches. Yum. :smiley:


No they are not.

So is “shitface” just a way to describe someone? Would you like that name? After all, it’s just a name is a name is a name, right?

I have never met a black person who has seriously had a problem with being called “black”. So I would appreciate a cite to back up this claim (since we are in GD and all).


I’m sorry, but nigger isn’t just another word. It may be to you, but then again, you probably haven’t been bestowed with that title before.


Why should an entire group of people have to be convinced that “sable” is a kick-ass way to describe them? Don’t they have a say in what name is being used to describe them?

Personally, when I think of sable I think of cars and animals. Believe me, if some joker told me that it was a kick-ass name to call myself, I would tell him that he had some nerve.

This has got to be the dumbest thread in all of SDMB.


Have you met Jesse Jackson?

Absolutely. And If I can pronounce it, and it doesn’t demean me or anybody else, I’ll generally go with it.

How about if a person just offered it up as a possibility?

Allright. So you haven’t met Jesse jackson, and you haven’t seen any of the “phi” threads either.


Have you? Wow. I’m impressed.

OK, you’ve offered up one person as evidence that black people don’t like being called “black”. And you haven’t provided any quotes from this individual to even support that HE doesn’t like the term. Are we in GD or IMHO? I’m confused.


Why though? Just to be silly? Well, I think white people should be called vanilla wafers. And if that doesn’t catch on, we can call them white devils.

If society defined “shitface” as “person with a 13 inch penis” then I’d probably enjoy people calling me that name. Instead, we have defined it as an insult.
Nigger is also considered an insult but not because the word itself is bad. The connotation is.

Apparantly TV stations have decided that ‘Black’ is forbidden and only ‘African American’ is acceptible. That’s why they announced the “first African American of any nationality” having won a medal in the winter Olympics.

Despite your sarcasm you know what I meant.

You talked about them as if they are some entity other than human beings that we must discuss. If someone did a similair thread “what should we call the ‘whites’?” you’d feel patronised by it.

And I quoted your whole thread 1 - because I pressed the ‘quote’ button to get my reply screen. And 2 - because I was not refering to anything in particular, but the whole thread.

I know you did not mean to patronise or anything bad for that matter. but It looked like a post that could be taken offence to. You know, like talking about people in the ‘third person’ while they are present.

[[Most black people aren’t really African. They’re just American. ]]


The fact that someone uses African American doesn’t mean the the term black is forbidden. I use the term black for the most part, but that doesn’t mean I have a problem with the term African American.

As for your quote, is that for real? The “first African American of any nationality” doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

People struggling with the issue of self-identity are unlikely to welcome suggestions from the outside on how to identify themselves. I work with many Americans of Mexican descent and they have the same dilemma. Most prefer to identify themselves as just Mexican when referring to their ethnicity, some prefer Hispanic, Spanish, or Latino, and others insist they are just American (I have an unusually mixed heritage, and this is the term I most prefer myself). Just as with people of sub-Saharan African descent, they are likely to reject out of hand any suggestion coming from outside their group. It’s a matter of self-identity, so if you aren’t a member of the group in question, your suggestion isn’t likely to be received well.

We do have a name for white people. We call them white people.

The term you’re looking for is pejoration. This is the process that occurs when a word with a positive or neutral connotatation (eg “vulgar”) takes on a negative connoatation. “Colored” underwent this process. I don’t think “black” has; it seems to be the accepted standard among most of my black aquaintances and students. I think the jury is still out on “negro”, which sometimes may be veiwed negatively due to it sounding similar to “nigger”. “Nigger” has, to my knowledge, always implied that the person was less than a white person (the exception being the more recent adoption by some blacks as an ironic term of affection), and thus has had negative connotations from the start.

Exactly. The meaning of words is a social construct. Because of this, connotative meanings often matter just as much as denotative meanings. “Nigger”, when used by a person who is not black, has the single most powerfully negative connotation in American English. Anyone who doesn’t recognize that and take it into account when using it is either a bigot or a moron (note that I am not accusing Ender or anyone in this thread of using the word in this way).

All this bitching about black is PISSING me off. What the hell is wrong with black? You wouldn’t want to be called black? What’s wrong with black?

Well, you wonder why I always dress in black,
Why you never see bright colors on my back,
And why does my appearance seem to have a somber tone.
Well, there’s a reason for the things that I have on.

I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down,
Livin’ in the hopeless, hungry side of town,
I wear it for the prisoner who has long paid for his crime,
But is there because he’s a victim of the times.

I wear the black for those who never read,
Or listened to the words that Jesus said,
About the road to happiness through love and charity,
Why, you’d think He’s talking straight to you and me.

Well, we’re doin’ mighty fine, I do suppose,
In our streak of lightnin’ cars and fancy clothes,
But just so we’re reminded of the ones who are held back,
Up front there ought 'a be a Man In Black.

I wear it for the sick and lonely old,
For the reckless ones whose bad trip left them cold,
I wear the black in mournin’ for the lives that could have been,
Each week we lose a hundred fine young men.

And, I wear it for the thousands who have died,
Believen’ that the Lord was on their side,
I wear it for another hundred thousand who have died,
Believen’ that we all were on their side.

Well, there’s things that never will be right I know,
And things need changin’ everywhere you go,
But 'til we start to make a move to make a few things right,
You’ll never see me wear a suit of white.

Ah, I’d love to wear a rainbow every day,
And tell the world that everything’s OK,
But I’ll try to carry off a little darkness on my back,
'Till things are brighter, I’m the Man In Black.
That’s, uh, that’s Johnny Cash by the way.

I wear black everyday.

Kinda funny, in lots of modern movies and music, yes, the white people are the bad guys! They’re the ones who shoot up all the birdies in the sky and kidnap the children and What planet have you been on Scylla? I’m not really mad, I’m just pretending. It’s all just a bit (kuroashi checks what forum he’s in) whacky.

I’d like to think like lobley , but lotsa people like to have a sense of identity, something that, more than tells other people what ethnic group they are, tells the person him/herself what group they belong in. That can have both negative and positive effects.

Why don’t we, rather than name people after animals, name our “races” afterthe most disgusting thing possible? In Mongolia, I have heard, parents name their children things like “Dog Snot” and “Bird Shit” because if their names are too fancy, a god will carry the child away, so they try to be as humble as possible.

Let’s all be different tribes of the Mud People. Depending on your tone you can be your very favorite type of mud.

No, I’m being facetious. A name IS a name, and has no meaning outside of what we give it after that. That point has already been made.

What I don’t like about ‘black’ is that it’s the opposite of white - it seems like it is playing up our differences. We even use the phrase ‘black and white’ to describe two things that are completely different.

I think maybe we should stop using skin color as the defining feature. After all, there are black people with pale skin and people of other races who are very dark. So what should we use? There is one physical feature that is almost universal among black people that very few other ‘races’ have, and that’s their hair. We just need to find a non-offensive term for people who have it.



Hmm, neither of those sound very good…

How about “Blues”?

From the “Chronology of World Slavery” for the year 862:

"The arrival of African slaves was recorded in the Annals of Ireland. The “blue men,” as they were called, had been captured during Viking raids on Spain and North Africa.


South Africa went through this sort of soul-searching when the transition took place - the Apartheid terminology of Bantu (official) and Kaffir (slang/insult) no longer being acceptable or appropriate. The powers that be went through some torturous PC genuflections (and the population went through some quite funny non-PC alternatives) and settled on “Black” or “African”, which of course doesn’t help the OP, since they are real Africans…

Of the non-PC terms, my own favorite was “non-reflective” :smiley:


i call them “dudes,” as in “hey dude.” but then i call everyone “dude,” hahaha…well except for halle berry, i call her finger lickin’ good.