The word “black” has many meanings. Black is sometimes used to describe darker coloured skin. In fact what is often called “black” skin is usually shades of brown.
Black is a hot word as people do not like to be labelled according to their skin colour.
Black becomes a very hot word when the colour of a person’s skin is used to stereotype that person by attributing to them characteristics that may or may not be relevant to them. These stereotypes tend to be derogatory, such as in relation to a person’s intelligence and capacity to contribute to society. Such stereotypes are examples of racism.
10 March 2002