“African American” Best Term for Black Populace

Mauris Emeka, Oberlin Resident

To the Editors:

By way of history, until the mid 1960s, the acceptable and respectful way to refer to African Americans (or Black people) was as “colored” or “negro.” For the most part, those designations began fading away around 1965 when the Black awareness movement emerged. Careful study of our history as a people helped us all understand that instead of negroes (or colored), we were simply people of African descent — that is, African Americans. This designation (African American) has now been commonly used for just over 50 years, and without question, it increases the overall understanding of who we are as a people.

– Mauris Emeka
Oberlin resident