Use African American or black. Do not use to describe a person of African descent. Do not use Negress. Term acceptable in organization names and historical references, for example, National Council of Negro Women or Negro National Anthem. The word Negro was adopted from the Spanish and Portuguese and first recorded in the mid-16th century. It remained the standard term between the 17th-19th centuries and was used by prominent black American campaigners such as W. E. B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington in the early 20th century. Since the Black Power movement of the 1960s, however, when black was favoured as the term to express racial pride, Negro and related words such as Negress were dropped and now are out of date, offensive most of the time.

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