In the comments section on this question, someone took offense at calling african-americans black (because not all blacks are african). Then took offense at using the term african-american (because the question was about black people, but specifically pertaining to Americans), so they suggested that "black American" be used as an all-inclusive term to describe people with dark skin in America.

As a white American, this immediately set off alarm bells in my head. The term "black American" sounds like the kind of thing I would never think of uttering in public. (I can picture the dagger glares already. I can hear the angry follow up responses. White progressives are mean).

Is "black American" an acceptable term to refer to all black people in America, even those who are not ethnically African?

Could it be that it sounds like dog whistle and that is why I instinctively am against it?

  • Your explanation isn't clear to me. I don't see how "someone took offense at calling african-americans black (because not all blacks are african)". Do you mean the other way around? Taking offense at calling all black people "African-American" is surely what you mean, because not all black people are American (or African, for that matter). To answer the question, "black American" is perfectly fine to use, if the person is an American. You don't know if they're African or something else, but you do know they're black.
    – user91988
    Sep 14, 2018 at 20:05
  • I think that this question should be migrated to english.stackexchange.com
    – empty
    Sep 14, 2018 at 20:05
  • Link is broken.
    – empty
    Sep 14, 2018 at 20:06
  • 1
    Duplicate of english.stackexchange.com/questions/339348/…
    – empty
    Sep 14, 2018 at 20:07
  • 1
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because asking whether something is rude, inappropriate, or otherwise not done is not a good fit for this site, see also our help center. We are not here to tell you whether you are right or wrong.
    – Tinkeringbell
    Sep 14, 2018 at 20:08


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