re: Teenagers page 9

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If "negro" should be capitalized, then I'll capitalize it. Since "white" isn't capitalized when used to describe the white race, ... when describing the Negro/negro race. If it's a rule of some sort, though, I have no problem with changing this.

Not really a general rule, just a custom of the times. At some point it became standard to write "Negro", and I think "negro" was probably seen as disrespectful, though that's just a guess. It might have been a little like what later led to the contextual use of "African-American" a desire to have a term that was used like terms for other cognizable ethnic groups. That might have been why "Negro" at a certain point (1930s-1965?) came to be favored over "colored" and "black".
My primary observation is that using "the negro community" or "the Negro community" to describe area where negro/Negros

Oy!
lived in the 1940s seems more appropriate to me than the other choices.

But in 1940s usage no one would likely have said "the Negro community" to mean "place where Negroes lived", I suspect. Nor would they have used it the way I thought you were using it the modern use of "community" to mean "the group, with implications of close-knittedness".
Saying "the African-American community" in references to the 1940s is too much like saying "The unpaid crop harvesters of the southern plantations in the 1840s were supervised by the property-owning management teams". It's not a matter of politeness, but a matter of descriptive terminology.

I don't disagree, but I don't agree that using "the Negro community" makes sense, even if that usage of "community" was current then. "Negro" came to be seen as an offensive term after the 1960s, so you simply can't ignore that and start using "Negro" innocently again for historical flavor. That's why I suggested using "black" because in today's usage "black" remains, as it has been since the 1970s, the most neutral term for African-Americans. Using "black" might have seemed offensive in 1955 and silly in 1965 in similar historical-writing contexts I'm sure that "Negro" was the term that historians tended to use in the 1960s.
If "negro" should be capitalized, then I'll capitalize it. Since "white" isn't capitalized when used to describe the white race, ... when describing the Negro/negro race. If it's a rule of some sort, though, I have no problem with changing this.

The "rule" is this: "Negro" and "Caucasian" are capitalized; "black" and "white" are generally not.
My primary observation is that using "the negro community" or "the Negro community" to describe area where negro/Negros lived in ... 1840s were supervised by the property-owning management teams". It's not a matter of politeness, but a matter of descriptive terminology.

But it is a matter of correctness and politeness to capitalize what should be capitalized. Leaving "negro" uncapitalized can be seen as an intentional insult to those we call African Americans today.

By the way, I agreed with Sara that "community" sounds odd in "the Negro community." I cannot remember what term was used when I was a child (mid-to-late 1940s; 1950s) other than "niggertown," which sounds (and sounded) terrible. Was there a non-prejudicial term? Was "community" actually used? There was an area of Detroit called "Black Bottom," and there are some interesting articles at:
http://www.urbanmozaik.com/2002.january/jan02 fea detroit.html or http://tinyurl.com/5jykk
http://info.detnews.com/history/story/index.cfm?id=174&category=life or http://tinyurl.com/5bots
Both articles use "community," but both were written "after the fact," so to speak.
By the way, the first article, in Urban Mozaik, mentions that the "white flight" from the city began after the riots of 1967; to the best of my knowledge, whites started leaving the city in substantial numbers in the mid-1950s.
Maria Conlon, a resident of southeast Michigan (near Detroit).
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
If "negro" should be capitalized, then I'll capitalize it. Since ... some sort, though, I have no problem with changing this.

Not really a general rule, just a custom of the times.

A custom what which times? Who sets the customs, and how universally are they observed?
At some point it became standard to write "Negro", and I think "negro" was probably seen as disrespectful, though that's just a guess.

As a white person, I am fully prepared to admit that white people often say and write things that are unintentionally disrespectful when heard or read by non-white people. However - even though I am unable to research this in any way - I suspect that many of these "dis respecting" utterances are considered more disrespectful by skittish white folks that are loathe to insult their fellow man than they are by actual non-whites.
Few of us white folks will ever be able to understand what wounds the black man because we most often know only two types of black people: the chip-on-the-shoulder take-offense-at-anything type, and the let's-not-make-waves type that may be slightly or moderately offended but would prefer to shrug it off and not admit to being offended. Additionally, even if we know a black person well enough that he/she will be absolutely frank with us, that black person is still an individual that views things from his/her individual perspective and may not react to what is uttered the same as other black people.

You might entice Mr Stewart (right name?) in here to let us know if he feels that the capital or non-capitalized "n" makes a difference to him, but all you would accomplish by that is knowing Mr Stewart's individual take on the issue.
It might have been a little like what later led to the contextual use of "African-American" a desire to ... groups. That might have been why "Negro" at a certain point (1930s-1965?) came to be favored over "colored" and "black".

Who favored it? Did we - the whites - decide that a term was more or less favorable, or were the actual people involved consulted? Who spoke for them?
lived in the 1940s seems more appropriate to me than the other choices.

But in 1940s usage no one would likely have said "the Negro community" to mean "place where Negroes lived", I ... I thought you were using it the modern use of "community" to mean "the group, with implications of close-knittedness".

You amaze me. You sit there and decide what would have been, or would not have been, used to describe something without the slightest idea of what was actually used. I guess you just base these pronouncements on what you might have said if personally called on to say something.

In actuality, there would have been any number of terms to describe an area where Negroes lived. The terms would have ranged from "Darktown" to "the colored section" to any number of pejorative terms starting with "Niggertown". The person struggling to come up with something neutral might have said "Negro community" as likely as any other term. It's not like there was a "proper" way to say it.
Saying "the African-American community" in references to the 1940s is ... a matter of politeness, but a matter of descriptive terminology.

I don't disagree, but I don't agree that using "the Negro community" makes sense, even if that usage of "community" ... offensive term after the 1960s, so you simply can't ignore that and start using "Negro" innocently again for historical flavor.

Certainly you can when you say "as it was called then" as I did.
That's why I suggested using "black" because in today's usage "black" remains, as it has been since the 1970s, the ... in similar historical-writing contexts I'm sure that "Negro" was the term that historians tended to use in the 1960s.

That would be non-sensical. Why would I say "the black community (as it was called then)..." when it wasn't called that then?

In general, Areff, what you are doing in this thread is interjecting your own personal views on what should or should not be said or written based on your current perspective. That's OK, but to ascribe these views to the views of a group of people that you really don't know is a bit silly.
Are you under the impression at all that my use of the lower case "n" was intended to be insulting? Even insensitive?
R H Draney wrote, in part: ...here's what happens when Is this a real song?

As opposed to...?

One that no one has ever heard.
Maria Conlon
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
R H Draney wrote, in part: ...here's what happens ... would be rather funny. If you know what I mean.

Indeed, nice bit of zeitgeist surfing - who's Julie Brown?

"I Like Them Big and Stupid"
http://www.guntheranderson.com/v/data/ilikethe.htm and

"I can't spell VW but I got a Porsche" and
"I just want to say that being chosen as this month's Miss August is like, a compliment I'll remember for as long as I can. Right now I'm a freshman in my fourth year at UCLA, but my goal is to become a veterinarian, 'cause I love children."
Love that 'acrobatic/instamatic' rhyme - 'Instamatic' very cleverly roots the song in the back a way...

I'm starting to like this songwriter. (Thanks, Ron.)

Maria Conlon
R H Draney filted:

I suppose I'll have to ready the MP3..

And here it is...from the CD "Trapped in the Body of a White Girl": http://home.earthlink.net/~rhdraney/homecoming.mp3

Hearing it and reading the words are two different things, for sure.

I found it entertaining, and I worry about what that says about me. :-)

Thank you very much for going to the trouble of finding this, r.

Maria Conlon
No, thank goodness. Some are even getting better: a woman opened a door for me Saturday, in keeping with the ... for them. If that becomes part of the tradition, I think people will date its beginnings to late 19th century.

???
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The "rule" is this: "Negro" and "Caucasian" are capitalized; "black" ... an intentional insult to those we call African Americans today.

Are you under the impression at all that my use of the lower case "n" was intended to be insulting? Even insensitive?

Intended to be insulting? No. I don't believe you would intentionally insult "Negroes," blacks, or African Americans. But the lack of a capital letter could be taken (by some who haven't been reading you for several years) that way.
Insensitive? I don't know. Does "insensitive," as a valid adjective, automatically kick in when someone doesn't know what might be insulting even though he or she ought to know (given the amount of communication about this issue)? Or, does not knowing for any reason automatically exclude "insensitive" as a valid adjective?

Comments?
Maria Conlon
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