Why are black people called black?

Why are they called black when they are more dark brown than black?


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Most Helpful Girl

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What Girls Said 7

  • Europeans have always called anyone darker than them black. The greeks referred to the Persians as black, the romans referred to Jesus and the isrealites as black, the British referred to the indians as black, the French referres to the south Asians as black.
    Black has been used to identify anyone as non white for forever

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  • Because full blooded Africans living Africa can appear black due to their exposure to the hot sun for lengthy hours. That's what I was told when I was little and curious. In reality I don't know if this is true. Sounds true. *shrug*

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  • All of them aren't even dark brown. I don't know why people are referred to by color.

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  • the real question is why aren't Asians called yellows?

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  • I had the same question too

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  • Im black and im not dark brown. Im the same color as Jenifer Lopez

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  • Same goes for white people as they are more peach than white...

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What Guys Said 20

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  • Africans are black. American blacks are brown, because many of them got a shitload of European blood. Compare the facial features of most American blacks to Africans, and you can tell that even in facial features, American blacks have a lot of European characteristics: bone structure, too, not just a lighter skin color.

    But dividing up races into "black" "brown" "half-black, half brown" "maroon" is kinda tedious. So we just say black.

    Likewise, I'm not really white. I'm more like vanilla. But it's easier to classify the general race via general skin color.

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    • 2mo

      Africans are any shade. I'm full African.

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    • 2mo

      So to you, you gotta look like pitch black with wool hair to be black? That's like saying you have to have thin ass lips, pointy long nose and blonde hair to be white. It's a stereotype for a reason. There are white people with curly hair, are they all mixed with black? No.
      baucemag.com/.../natural-hair.png
      All this kid did was a twist out.

    • 2mo

      @reixun I wasn't saying anything about "you're only black if----" I was saying that black Americans have a shitload of European blood, which is why they are a lighter color than typical Africans and different facial structure. We're talking about how genes affect different traits. Don't make it a social justice issue.

      I'm saying that if you have blue eyes, then it's because that mutation happened 6,000-10,000 years ago, so if someone who isn't Euro has blue eyes, it's because they have at least one Euro ancestor. And likewise, there are other genes that only developed in one race, that you can only get from one race. And it was my understanding that the blacker a person was, the more African genes they had in their ancestry. Maybe I'm wrong. I don't know. Like I said. I ain't a genealogist. I will take your statement into consideration and try to remain open-minded.

  • First, it's important to understand why Africans are black and Caucasians are white... If you notice, the further away from the equator, the paler a people becomes. For the same reason, the close to the equator, the darker a people becomes. This is because of melanin and sunlight. Melanin is what gives skin color. Dark people have lots of melanin and this is because they are in climates with abundant sunlight but all that sunlight can be a problem because it can cause skin cancer. What melanin does is help protect against that. The further away from the equator, the less abundant the sunlight, so there is less of a need for melanin. However, the body needs to absorb sunlight to make Vitamin D and the less melanin the skin has, the easier it is to absorb sunlight. Since sunlight is plentiful near the equator, there's plenty of sunlight for Vitamin D production even with all that melanin. Since sunlight is less plentiful away from the equator, the skin needs to be paler from less melanin to help absorb the needed sunlight.

    Now, if you go to Africa, the people who are native there are very black which makes sense due to the above. But why are "blacks" outside of Africa less black? Well, the above is part of the answer: the darker you are in far latitudes, the less healthy you may become from Vitamin D deficiency. So, as part of evolution, those who are lighter are more likely to reproduce, thus a dark population will evolve over time to become lighter. This is why "white people" even exist.

    Also though, most "blacks" in Western societies are also the product of racial intermixing over the generations. With every non-African breeding with an African, the children will be lighter. Indeed, in the US, approximately 25% of the genomes of African Americans consists of European genes.

    So, you see, there are lots of biological and evolutionary forces at play over the generations of Africans out-of-Africa that has lead to them not being "black" like Africans. Thus, this G@G question.

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  • Black has been associated with evil and demonic things for centuries, then Europeans applied that term to Africans and it's stuck.

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    • 2mo

      Or its because thats what the colors are, ones dark ones light. What nonsense lmao.

  • Rounding. Like rounding 1.2 down to 1. Don't really need all those decimal places.

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  • I think it probably comes from the first meeting of Whites and Blacks maybe in parts of Africa - Some of the Africans can be very Black looking

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  • I know what you mean. I've never seen a truly black human. It's just a naming convention to call the dark-skinned peoples of the world "black." Just like calling light-skinned people "white."

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  • Why are whites called white? Why are Asians called yellow? They are just terms and don't have any true meaning. I'd rather be called black than African-American anyway. I'm not African, nor my parents, nor their parents. Just another way to label us as being less American than whites. You'll never hear someone refer to a white as "European-American"

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  • Because the race is called Negroid, which comes from the word "Negro", which literally translates as "black".

    Some folks prefer to use more scientific term (like me: I tend to say "negro"), some prefer "simplified" 'black'.

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  • That's like saying why are white people called white? Most aren't white like paper they have color to them. It's probably just something that originated a long ass time ago when people started being racist.

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  • The way we describe people's skin tone doesn't make since. Black people obviously aren't black, Native Americans don't have red skin, Asians aren't yellow and white people aren't white.

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  • I think it is kind of a quick convenient way of referring to a group of people, not an attempt at skin tone absolutism.

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  • People who live in Subsaharan Africa are actually pretty close to black:

    usercontent1.hubstatic.com/7215548_f520.jpg

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  • dunno... good question. i guess not all label are literal. tbh, they don't need to be. whie people aren't literally white, but meh...

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  • Because they are black? Lmao.

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  • Sort of an early slang term, I suppose

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  • I am brown... by definition.

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  • wesley snipes

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  • Well white people aren't white either. They're more skin colored.

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  • Because Blacks and Whites are haters and are the only ones regularly referred to by color.

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