Use of word Negro on 2010 census forms raises memories of Jim Crow
Wednesday, January 6th 2010, 7:13 AM
The census form for 2010 features a word more often heard in 1966: Negro.
"I don't think my ancestors would appreciate it in 2010," said Smith, 56. "I don't want my grandchildren being called Negroes."
Question No. 9 on this year's census form asks about race, with one of the answers listed as "black, African-Am. or Negro."
Census Bureau spokesman Jack Martin said the use of "Negro" was intended as a term of inclusion.
"Many older African-Americans identified themselves that way, and many still do," he said. "Those who identify themselves as Negroes need to be included."
The form was also approved by Congress more than a year ago, and the word has appeared on past forms.
The use of Negro began disappearing elsewhere with the civil rights movement of the 1960s, as black or African-American became the preferred terms.
Although Martin noted that some older blacks still use the term, younger blacks feel it's a term that's passe.
"The N-word branched out of Negro. ... These days, African-Americans wouldn't like the term."
Greg Melvin, 41, of Queens said he wasn't offended by the word's inclusion on the form - he just didn't think it was proper.
"They don't need it," he said. "It should just be black or African-American. It's definitely unnecessary in this day and age."
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