Through an examination of the term people of color, this conceptual paper illustrates how the use of historical racial labels in the US, supposedly aimed at denouncing racism, seems to reproduce that which the labels purport to condemn. With a primary focus on Blacks or African-Americans, this paper draws purely on a review and analysis of secondary information to argue that any antiracist agenda that utilizes terms that were associated with historical racism may well be reproducing the racist ideologies that justified slavery and Jim Crow laws. This paper calls for the elimination of the term people of color and related labels from popular usage for the following reasons: (1) the racialized representation of color in historical race relations, (2) the deleterious implications of color for contemporary interracial and intraracial relations, and (3) the misleading universalism and racial divisiveness in the term people of color. These issues are discussed following an introduction and a conceptual framework. The paper concludes with a recommendation of appropriate terms for racial identification.
Kalunta-Crumpton, Anita, "The inclusion of the term ‘color’ in any racial label is racist, is it not?" (2020). Faculty Publications. 77.