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#119031 - 01/07/04 08:35 PM Human hues  
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Father Steve Offline
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There is quite a discussion going on, on a list.serv in which I participate, about terms to describe folks' ethnicity. One contributor insisted that the only appropriate aggregate term was "people of colour." Another asked what the difference is between this phrase and the less-PC phrase "coloured people." Who knows?



#119032 - 01/07/04 08:58 PM Re: Human hues  
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Dear Father Steve: I had thought "Afro-American" was preferable.


#119033 - 01/07/04 09:14 PM Re: Human hues  
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Well, Dr Bill, I think that would be "African American" but that would not apply to non-Caucasian, non-Asian folks living in other lands.

I don't know, Father Steve. I do hear "people of color" on NPR, fwiw. I have no friends thusly described up here in upstate NY but will E-mail friends in Atlanta to see what they say.


#119034 - 01/07/04 09:15 PM Re: Human hues  
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Afro-American is a current term, but only for people properly described by it. I have heard Native Americans and Hispanics and Asians describe themselves as "people of colour" -- but never as "coloured people" and certainly not as Afro-Americans. I think "people of colour" is more widely embracing than "African American."




#119035 - 01/07/04 10:08 PM Re: Human hues  
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of course, basicly every human being is a person of color--albino's are at one end of the scale, -- certain african nationals at the other end..

human skin color is made up of two components.. underlying fat, and melinin. just like chickens fat (and milkk/cream)can be made yellow(er) by a diet rich in beta carotines, some ethinic groups are likelier to have yellowish body fat, and others likely to have whitish. this 'colors the skin'--partly its genetics, and partly it is diet.

melinin is a body chemical that also colors the skin. albinos have none.. full saturation (the darkest possible tone) is based on the percentage of melinin-- but the way you body handles/distributes it.. is a formula-- and basicly there are something 36 associated skin tones that go along with differing percentages of melinin.. so 'theoreticly' there are about 72 basic skin tones..
reality is, blood (and relitive closeness of blood vessels to the skin surface) and other factors come into play..

(diet sometimes plays a bigger part than we think-- in the book The Hunan Hand--(a series of essays about quirking/interesting human 'illnesses',-still packed away, so i forget the author), one person who went on a fad diet that relied heavily on carrot (a source of beta carotine) and tomatoes, (which contain another chemical that in large quanities that can color the skin) ended up looking pumpkin orange (as if he had use a really cheap self tanner!) --while exceptional, it did highlight that diet does effect both skin tone, and color!-(the person was convinced to return to a normal diet, and when they did so, their skin returned to a normal color..


#119036 - 01/08/04 02:22 AM Re: Human hues  
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the difference is between this phrase and the less-PC phrase " c o l o u r e d people."
It's because the term colored people was used at a time when they were the target of heavy, open prejudice--a time that many people don't want the memories of being brought up again and again.


#119037 - 01/08/04 02:58 AM Re: Human hues  
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Jackie: It's because the term colored people was used at a time when they were the target of heavy, open prejudice

Then why does the NAACP still call itself the National Association for the Advanced of Coloured People?



#119038 - 01/08/04 11:32 AM Re: Human hues  
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Afro-American is out of date. It's African-American. But, yes, 'persons of color' refers to much more than 'African-American' does.


#119039 - 01/08/04 01:05 PM Re: Human hues  
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why does the NAACP still call itself the National Association for the Advanced of Coloured People?
Name recognition, I believe. From their web site: From corprate partnerships to tireless volunteer labor, the NAACP has evolved to meet the challenges of the day, while remaining true to its original mission. With renewed commitment, the new NAACP is poised to meet the challenges of the 21st century.






#119040 - 01/08/04 01:11 PM Re: NAACP  
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I've wondered that myself, Father Steve. Is it because updating it would be a bad idea since the acronym (OK, initialism to you stickler-pickers) is more recongnizable nowadays than its expansion?

Edit: Jackie, GMTA! My browser froze as I was about to post....


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