Of Color

Literature, 1977

Alternative for racist term “colored” used by intellectual™-sounding people for anyone with brown skin as an attempt to appear “reverent” towards those they are being condescending to.

Aside from how stupid the term actually is when considering the opposite of colour is transparent, the intent of the phrase is ambiguous: from Martin Luther King Jr use of “citizens of color”, to the National Women’s Conference’s declaration of “women of colour” in 1977, to teacher manuals circulated in Academia around 1997 (e.g. “Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice: A Sourcebook”), the term is universally attributed to 18th century vocabulary for “black person” or “mixed race”. For example, in 1797, Bryan Edwards notes in “An Historical Survey of the French Colony in the Island of St. Domingo” sentences such as ”The class which, by a strange abuse of language, is called people of colour, originates from an intermixture of the whites and the blacks.”