My mother & I discussed the census the other day along with the racial categories listed this time around.

During the conversation, I asked what she preferred to be called; Black, Negro, AA etc. She answered with Colored, which was somewhat of a surprise. Her preference is because Colored was listed on her birth certificate (born 1953). Overall she’s cool with either Colored or Black.

She also discussed  her memories of becoming Black in the 60/70s, Black liberation, & how James Brown & the Black Panthers ignited a firestorm of Black awareness through music & action respectively.

Really interesting how since the 1950s we moved from Colored > Negro > Black > African American. What will we be next?

Side Notes:

– In Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech, he used the terms Negro 15 times and black 4 times. Perhaps this was the beginning to the racial classification shift in terms.

– My birth certificate states that my race is Black.

– Both of my daughter’s birth certificates state no race at all.

– My grandfather named my mother (Stella) after after a 1953 Detroit boxing match titled “Stella’s Main Attraction.” My grandmother went into labor with her the night of the fight.