To minimise racism, inadvertent or not, when referring to people of the African diaspora.
To unify the method and terminology used to describe all populations.
To accord dignity and respect to all populations by referring to everyone by heritage rather than by racist and false notions of ‘colour of skin’.
Specifically to stop perpetuating “black” and “white” to perpetuate the false and racist idea that people of African heritage and those of European heritage are the biological opposite of each other – an idea that was conceived during the transatlantic trafficking of Africans (the transatlantic slave trade) and which was used to underpin it and the colonialism that followed.
Modernise the template the Office for National Statistics uses for ethnic categories, which is inconsistent in using “colour” for some populations while using heritage for the rest.
Remove from the ONS template the words “black” and “white” as the headline categories to refer to people of African and European heritages respectively and use heritage-respecting terminology as it does for the other populations to be consistent throughout.
Replace “black” with ‘of African heritage’, which truthfully recognises and respects the common continental ancestral heritage of continental African, African-Caribbean, African-American etc. people, but accords them the dignity of reference that other populations of the world have . This term to be used in conversation and print as a generic global term to replace “black” for anyone of African heritage.
The specific regional categories Continental, African-Brazilian, African-American, African-Caribbean, British of African heritage to be used when you know the person’s exact region of birth or their nationality. These to be listed below the heading ‘of African heritage’. We have coined the term ‘Afroic’ as a single-word term but less now for the people and more as an umbrella term for inanimate things such as our music, cuisines and businesses.
Replace “white” with European/’Of European heritage’ as the single-word heading.
As explained in the aims – uniformity, fairness, human dignity, respect, modernisation, closing another avenue for persistent racism
Precedents – we have already seen language use become increasingly modern and enlightened in the last 30 years in relation to other populations out of respect for them.
– terminology for people born to parents of different heritages in the UK has moved from “half-caste” in the 1960s and 70s to “mixed race”, to “mixed heritage” or “dual heritage” (or triple, quadruple etc. heritage)
– people from east and south-east Asian countries such as China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, the Philippines are no longer referred to by a crude reference to their complexions, namely, as the pigment yellow, which they are not
– So-called “red Indians” are now referred to as Native Americans
So why are we the exception? What ethical, moral or logical justification is there? None really.
The name of the campaign with the capital ‘L’ in ‘black’ is there to emphasise the lack of respect inherent in referring to people of African heritage as “black” and routinely defining them as the opposite of Europeans and people of European heritage, and the racist history that underpins it. We are are not the “opposite” of Europeans or people of European heritage any more than Asian, Arab or any other population is. What’s more, this crude fixation on “skin colour” denies our wholeness as human beings and denies any reference to or respect for our continental ancestry and our diverse pre-colonial history, civilisations and cultures.
Holocaust-denial is rightly condemned and outlawed in countries that consider themselves civilised and forward-thinking. So should heritage-denial be.
In the 21st century we believe what we put forth promotes human dignity and falls into line with the ideals espoused by the UN Convention on Human Rights.
We can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org