Wikipedia Def. of POC

"Person of color" or "people of color" are synonyms for people who are not white and (especially in the United States and Canada) for members of a non-white minority group. Some find this term equally offensive as the term "colored", primarily because it fixes whites as the benchmark for racial division, fostering an allegedly "us-versus-them" view of race relations. Proponents of the term maintain that it must be realistically acknowledged that race domination is primarily caucasian,
and that the term "person of color" is a better generic term for the
racial underclass than "black person" as it includes ethnicities other
than those strictly of African descent. This would include Latinos, Asians and many indigenous groups that also experience racism.

The historical term free people of color refers to people of African descent during slavery who lived in freedom. A related term from the time of slavery is gens de couleur,
a French expression that refers to the free descendants of white French
colonists and Africans. Because so many of these people had mixed
African and European ancestry, they are sometimes labeled mulatto. They are also sometimes referred to as affranchis.

I didn’t know about the "Free People of Color" usage.  I’m curious what years the term POC came into being, anyone know?    

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3 responses to “Wikipedia Def. of POC

  1. The political term People of Color is mid seventies.

    And it means those whose experience within a historically racially oppressed group leads them to identify with others who are also oppressed.

    UU minister and leader in helping form DRUUM the Rev. John Gilmore used to insist that PoC is a poltical term, rather than a descriptive term of skin hue.

    Therefore light skinned Asians, Native people, and Latina/o are in this political sense People of Color….if they understand that their people experienced oppression based on white domination, and are in solidarity with others who have experienced this

  2. The part about issues people raise with the term is pretty interesting. This year at my school racism has become a central topic and at an all student meeting last semester, some students stood up and said they are offended by being called “POC” and prefer to be called “black.” I’m excited about the amount of dialogue going on.

  3. Interesting about your schoolmates, Liz. I wonder why they are under the (mistaken?) impression that they must choose *between* “people of color” and “black?”

    I happily identify as a black latina, and person of color.

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