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Army Drops Use Of Term 'Negro'

The Army is dropping the use of the term "negro" in an official document that listed it as an acceptable way to refer to African Americans.

CNN first pointed out the document on Thursday and just hours later the Army responded by revising the document.

The Associated Press reports:

"The term appeared in a lengthy document called Army Command Policy, covering personnel standards and policies. A section on equal opportunity policy defined 'Black' or 'African American' as 'a person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa," adding that 'terms such as "Haitian" or "Negro" can be used' also.

"The Army issued a statement saying it removed the term 'Negro' Thursday as soon as it realized it was in the document. It did not say when the term first appeared in the document, but it apparently was many years ago."

At first blush, this sounds controversial, but a bit of context is in order: Remember, the Census just dropped the term last year. As we reported, the Census received lots of complaints about the word in 2010.

That's when they sought public feedback and decided to remove the word from the 2014 American Community Survey. It was included to begin with, because the Census said a large number of older black folks identified as "negro" and in the 2000 Census, 56,000 of them checked off the "some other race" category to write in "negro."

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Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.

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