person of color

Dissatisfaction with the implications of nonwhite as a racial label has contributed to the revival of the phrase person of color or similar terms, such as woman of color, based on the same construction. In effect, person of color stands nonwhite on its head, substituting a positive for a negative. Furthermore, the almost exclusive association in American English of colored with black?that is, with Americans of African descent?does not carry over to terms formed with ?of color.? Indeed, the somewhat artificial sound of person of color serves to emphasize that something other than colored person is probably intended, so that when Jesse Jackson proclaims that ?These are profound tendencies which strike at the middle class as well as the poor, at whites as well as people of color,? he is encouraging his audience to think more inclusively than if he had juxtaposed white with black. In this light, the term person of color and its related forms are welcome additions to the vocabulary of race and ethnicity.    1