Black or African-American?

Being your typical white-bread cracker, I want to ask:
Are you insulted if I refer to you as black instead of African-American? or Afro-American?
I do NOT use black in any demeaning way; only if it is necessary in the course of speaking or writing to make such a distinction.
Actually, I have very little respect for the term African-American or [any ethnicity]-American.

Not American and say black if a description is needed.

What would a PC American describe Phil Lynott BTW ? He was black and Irish, Afro-Hibernian maybe? :confused:

“How” instead of “What”

God I wish I could go asleep.

Vector, I agree with you on the hyphenated designations. I’m beige, but live in a neighborhood which is probably close to 50% black. I have heard neighbors refer to themselves as black, never “African-American.” I asked my next door neighbor once which she preferred, & she said “black” was fine by her. It’s my impression that “African-American” is used more in print than in day to day speech, but I could be way off. I’d also be interested in what non-white Dopers think.

I don’t think I designate people by race, unless it is somehow relevant, which IMHO it usually isn’t.

Off to IMHO.

I see no reason to use 6 syllables when 1 will do the job.

IMHO, hyphens are not good.

Mrs. Spritle attended a talk recently by a person of color (you’ll see why I used this term). She was talking about filling out forms and sensitivities and stated something like…

“That was in 1956 when I was Colored. Then I was Negro, then after that I was Black. Now I’m African-American; and confused.”

Mrs. Spritle said that the funniest part was watching the Gov’t employees in the audience try to figure out if they were allowed to laugh or not.

Here in the public education field we must be VERY sensitive to terms, regardless of how we feel about those terms. However, we have SEDCAR (not important) standards for race codes. We abide by those standards in reporting. The codes are:
American Indian
African American

In reports, a colleague of mine insists on using Caucasian-American for White. I told him (half jokingly) that I don’t have a single ancestor form the Caucaus Mountain region of Europe and I’d greatly appreciate it if he’d just refer to me and “my folk” (as he puts it) as White.

Also, I took an education course many years ago when they taught us about sensitivity of races, labels, etc. Then a Nigerian man stood up and said that he was African American because he was born in Africa and is now an American citizen. His children were born in this country and therefore are American, not African. They are also black. The class (College Juniors) clapped. The instructor turned red and did not know how to respond (being so against her indoctrination).

I’ve rambled long enough.

So is “lawn jockey” out of favor all of a sudden? Damn!

African-American can also get confusing because it does not refer to race. For example: Dave Matthews is African-American as he was born in South Africa. Plus, there are a whole host of people who are from Africa, are not white, but are not black. People from Egypt or Lybia come to mind.

I say “black” because it’s both less of a mouthful and more descriptive, really. Sometimes worrying about political correctness screws things up… Like the time a girl in one of my classes referred to “African-Americans” in South Africe. Say Black South Africans! SAY IT! The only people, it seems to me, who go out of their way to use “AA” in speech are PC whites. If someone were to tell me they preferred I didn’t say “black” I would apologize and call them what they wanted to be called, but for now I’m sticking with “blacks” for the reasons above.

When my baby daughter’s pediatrician, who is Indian, was examining her at one of her check-ups, he casually mentioned that her color was pale. I chimed in: “We come from a pale people.” :D:D

I doubt there are many people who are actually bothered by being called “black”, but I think “African-American” is sometimes the better choice as it is more specific. For instance, I once took an English class called “African-American Women”. This class dealt only with American black female authors. If this same class had instead been called “Black Women” students could quite reasonably have been disappointed when they discovered that black female authors from Africa and Europe would not be covered.

Perhaps it would be more useful to think of “African-American” as being an ethnic rather than a racial term. As a former roommate of mine once said, “All of us are black, but they are African-Americans and we are Jamaicans”.

How about just calling them a person? What difference does colour make?

Give me a break, Sue.

My Greek grandmother was born in a French colony in Africa. Someone figure out the “PC” term for that

I remember when I was an elementary ed major and we were studying various text books. One woman showed us the one her school had given us, and to my delight it was the one I had in 4th grade. (Not the SAME exact book that I owned, but you get the idea). And she said it was bad because it said Indian, instead of Native American. I said, “Well, it’s an old book, it’s not that big of a deal.” And she’s like, no, that’s really really bad. Granted, it probably makes more sense to say, Native American, but really…is it THAT bad?
It’s better than a book I remember referring to them as “savages”.

That’s funny, Guinny. In the world of academia, we call 'em Indians. “Indian” is an inaccurate term, but so is “native American.” Throughout American history, there have been many surges of Nativism, and they have nothing to do with the indigenous tribes–the xenophobes among us have rallied for the interests of the native-born Americans to be put above those of immigrants. So Native American has two meanings also.

The term Indian arose from a misunderstanding, but these peoples have been called “Indians” for what, 500 years? We know what it means. And no, it doesn’t lead to confusion. Usually, we know who we are talking about. I mean, would anybody really think that Samir and Jawarlahal were the ones who did General Custer in? If in doubt, we say “American Indians” or “Asian Indians” or “East Indians” or even “India Indians.” Or as I learned on this very board: “dot” or “feather.”

Oh, and I say “black,” for the same reasons as others have stated above.

Or perhaps they could have called the class “American Literature: Black Female Authors” and then everyone would be happy - well, except for the PC crowd who insist on using a complete misnomer with a fancy hyphen.

It’s simple really:

Are you black? Yes? Are you from Africa? No? Are you American? Yes? Guess what, you’re a black American.

I don’t go around demanding I be called a German-Irish-English American, so I won’t be doing the same for anyone else anytime soon unless they really are - for instance, if my wife ever goes for dual citizenship she will be a British-American (and that makes sense).

It’s funny, I know plenty of white Americans who proudly refer to themselves as being Irish, Italian, Polish, etc., without even tacking on the “-American”. In most cases these people have never even set foot in the country that they are claiming as their own. One red-haired friend of mine often mentions that he is Irish. He even flies an Irish flag outside his home. I know for a fact that not only has his family has been in the US for generations, but that more of his ancestors came from Germany than Ireland anyway. I cannot recall ever hearing anyone object to this sort of behavior in white people. It certainly has not received the same level of criticism as the (IMHO much less ridiculous) use of the term “African-American” to apply to American-born blacks.