NPR logo 'Slap In The Face'? 'Negro' Is On 2010 Census; Update: It's Been There Before


'Slap In The Face'? 'Negro' Is On 2010 Census; Update: It's Been There Before

From the 2010 questionaire. hide caption

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From the 2010 questionaire.

The Census Bureau says it includes "Negro" as a way for individuals to classify their race in the 2010 Census because some older African-Americans wrote it on their forms in 2000.

But many African-Americans find it insulting.

— "It's almost like a slap in the face," Nikyle Fitzgerald tells WTOL in Toledo.

— "I am a little offended," Dawud Ingram says to WCBS-TV.

— "It's a bad vibe word," Kevin Bishop says in the New York Daily News.

We've asked Census for some historical background on when the word has been used in the past. We'll update with that information.

Meanwhile, a question for the group:

We'll keep the question open for 48 hours.

Update at 1:10 p.m. ET: We've posted another update — with an image from the 2000 Census form — here.

Update at 9:40 a.m. ET: In a statement e-mailed to us this morning, the Census Bureau says that "56,175 respondents" wrote in the word "Negro" on their 2000 Census forms — even though the word was included on the form much as it is on the 2010 Census.

And Census public information officer Robert Crockett tells us that the word "Negro" has been on Census forms since at least 1950.

This year, Census says, the government is going to study the effects of removing the word from the forms.