In the United States of America, the word negro is considered acceptable only in a historical context or in proper names such as the United Negro College Fund. Black, which replaced negro from 1966 onward, or the more recent African-American (from the 1980s), are the preferred alternatives, with neither being categorically preferred as an endonym (self-designation) or by publications.
Before 1966, negro was accepted and in fact the usual endonym - consider The Negro, 1915, by W. E. B. Du Bois - which itself replaced the older colored in the 1920s, particularly under the advocacy of Du Bois (who advocated capitalization as Negro). Following the coinage and rise of Black Power and Black pride in the 1960s, particularly post-1966, the term black became preferred, and negro became offensive; in 1968 negro was still preferred by most as a self-designation, while by 1974 black was preferred; usage by publications followed.
See also discussion at Wikipedia.
(plural negroes or negros)
- Alternative capitalization of Negro
From Spanish and Portuguese negro (“black"), from Latin nigrum, masculine accusative case of niger (“black"), from Proto-Indo-European *negr-, *negÊ·r- (“coloured, dark"). Cognate with Old Armenian Õ¶Õ¥Ö€Õ¯ (nerk, “paint, dye, colour").
(plural Negroes or Negros)
- (dated) A person with black or dark brown skin and of African descent.
From Spanish negro (“black").