Poll of the Week: 2010 Census

Are you offended by the word Negro on the Census questionnaire?

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As 2010 Census forms begin arriving in mailboxes across the U.S., there has been some controversy about the use of the word “Negro” to identify African Americans. (Sample Census form) Black Enterprise wants your opinion on this issue.

Should the U.S. government have used the word Negro on the 2010 Census form?
A. No, the word is derogatory and offensive.
B. Yes, some people still identify themselves that way.
C. What’s the big deal?

Click here to take our poll.

Chime in: How do you identify yourself? Do you consider yourself a Negro, black, or African American, or none of the above? Let us know in the comments section below.

  • Inclusion of the label Negro should not be taken as offensive. We must understand that a certain segment of the population still identifies with this term. In fact, the UNCF acronym stands for the United Negro College Fund, which provides scholarships and support for students and HBCU’S around the country. From the Nat’l Council of Negro Women to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, there are several other historic organizations that have  antiquated forms of African-American identification in their names. The determining factor in whether one completes this important document, should not be the inclusion of a word, thought to be offensive. It should be however, the underrepresentation and lack of resources in the community that will flow from every decision not to participate. I will mark myself as an African-American. I do not identify with “Negro”, because I am 22. If any person feels so compelled to do otherwise, then be that as it may!  Rather than becoming mired in a debate over whether an old term, rarely used in our social and political culture anymore, is included, let’s focus our attention on getting more out of this census than we did in 2000. We must stop letting these sorts of attention grabbers distract us from the issue at hand. Folks let’s be counted! Fill out the simple, one-page document and stand for education, healthcare, transportation, and the like! For, our communities cannot stand much more in the way of disparate resources, funding and support! 

  • I’m squarely in the “What’s The Big Deal?” camp. I filled out and returned my Census form a couple of days ago, and the use of the term Negro didn’t even register with my consciousness. Aren’t we still trying to keep that other N-word from crawling out of the coffin Rev. Jackson and others buried it in several years ago? The term Negro may be outdated, but it was never egregiously offensive. (I’m old enough to remember when being called ‘black’ was an insult to a certain generation of–ahem–Negroes.)

  • Dellam

    When I opened my census form last week, I was in complete awe and started having conversations about question #9. I find it amazing that in 2010 we chant change and are hopeful for progression in the furture, but yet are stil holding on to the past. The mere fact that someone had to give the final ok for the form to print is an insult.

  • I was offended by the term Negro but not enough to keep me from filling out the Census understanding the importance of it. C’mom peoplle, let’s not get distracted.

  • jimmy dean

    im not worried about that im worried about the fact we as black people only own a half of a percent of wealth in this wealthy nation and we are running around like thats okay.we dont own any hospitals we dont own any skyscrapers we dont own large banks we dont even own the corner stores in our neighborhoods i can go on for days and days, and we are asleep at the wheel .we bought into the ideal of indivisual success,and we wonder why our NEIGHBORHOODS are ran down because we dont own nothing.and if you think what im saying is irrelevant check this out this is how cold the game is in most cases we dont even own the beauty supply stores that sell nothing but products for black folks and the costumer base at the stores is 100% black .THE KOREANS WHO CAN BARELY SPEAK ENGLISH OWN THE BLACK BEAUTY SUPPLY STORES.WAKE UP!

  • gagirl

    Quite frankly, I’m offended by both ‘Negro’ and ‘African-American’ on my census form. Negro is just plain antiquated and is completely unnecessary in this day and age. Who decided we wanted to be called African-American in the first place?? I’m black and the end result of more than one ethnicity. I didn’t immigrate to this country and the last time I checked we got here at the same time as whites. We’ve been here for over 400 years and somehow we need a hyphen in our name? Notice whites are not referenced as European-Americans. I see it as ‘separate but equal’. It’s a way of implying that we don’t belong here (along with Mexicans) and whites are somehow indigenous to this land. Anyway, as far as the census form is concerned I’m crossing through African-American and Negro….and sending a letter to the Census Bureau.

    “Jimmy dean”—-You have a point here. We as blacks can’t get mad that other races are coming into our communities and making money. What are WE doing for our communities??? Not much. I see black people all the time coming into convenience stores or whatever with an attitude towards the store owner (usually of another race). WHY? It’s our own fault. Who am I to hate on anyone else’s entrepreneurial spirit? Koreans aren’t stupid. Why not make money where you can? Btw, I ate at a Korean restaurant the other day and the people could NOT have been any nicer. As a people, we really don’t own any businesses. But we do own rims, gold teeth, and such. Get it together folks. We’re getting left behind and we’re too silly to realize it. You can’t even blame “the man” anymore.

  • I was born in Togo, Africa and now a citizen of this wonderful country. I want to be referred to as BLACK or African American and nothing else.

    In response to the above comments on wealth, it is important that we support each other as much as possible and stop the jealousy or attitudes towards our own race. I find it very disturbing, the buck stops with us to improve our situations before anything else.

    I believe there is something for everyone in America if we work hard for it. I know that because I just started my own online boutique that carries modern ethnic and gold jewelry. Based on history, I understand moving up can be harder for blacks or other races than whites but it doesn’t have to be. We should create own destiny and bind together.

  • Mara

    Recently, I found the 2010 Census form hanging on my door. As I began filling it out, I came across a dilemma. The U.S. government wants to know if my children are adopted or not and it wants to know what our races are. Being adopted myself, I had to put “Other” and “Don’t Know Adopted” for my race and “Other” and “Don’t Know” for my kids’ races.
    Can you imagine not knowing your ethnicity, your race? Now imagine walking into a vital records office and asking the clerk for your original birth certificate only to be told “No, you can’t have it, it’s sealed.”
    How about being presented with a “family history form” to fill out at every single doctor’s office visit and having to put “N/A Adopted” where life saving information should be?
    Imagine being asked what your nationality is and having to respond with “I don’t know”.
    It is time that the archaic practice of sealing and altering birth certificates of adopted persons stops.
    Adoption is a 5 billion dollar, unregulated industry that profits from the sale and redistribution of children. It turns children into chattel who are re-labeled and sold as “blank slates”.
    Genealogy, a modern-day fascination, cannot be enjoyed by adopted persons with sealed identities. Family trees are exclusive to the non-adopted persons in our society.
    If adoption is truly to return to what is best for a child, then the rights of children to their biological identities should NEVER be violated. Every single judge that finalizes an adoption and orders a child’s birth certificate to be sealed should be ashamed of him/herself.
    I challenge all readers: Ask the adopted persons that you know if their original birth certificates are sealed.