Negro Law and Legal Definition

The word Negro is used in the English-speaking world to refer to a person of black ancestry or appearance. The usage was accepted as normal, even by people classified as Negroes, until the Civil Rights movement. During the American Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, some African American leaders in the United States objected to the word, preferring Black, because they associated the word Negro with the long history of slavery, segregation, and discrimination. During the 1960s the term Negro became considered to be a so-called "ethnic slur".

"Negro" superseded "colored" as the most polite terminology, at a time when "black" was more offensive. The United States Census Bureau announced that Negro would be included on the 2010 United States Census, alongside "Black" and "African-American," because some older Black Americans nevertheless self-identify with the term.