Last week I came across this tweet about the term ‘BIPOC’:
It reminded me of when I raised the question of what term people preferred to use when referring to people of color: BIPOC, POC, non-white, or some other term. I raised this question because even then there were mixed feelings about the use of ‘BIPOC’ when discussing the experiences of people of color.
I was genuinely surprised at the results (most people preferred ‘POC’) and the discussion it prompted.
I’ll admit that when I first created this blog, I wasn’t 100% clear on how the term should or had been used. It was a new and thought-provoking term that I thought was more politically correct and inclusive than POC (which I now realize is part of the problem).
Like most people, I didn’t do my research and just made the switch without really understanding the significance of (and problems with) the term.
When I asked POC studying the ancient world on Twitter last December to share who they were and what they studied as a way of signal-boosting historically excluded groups in the field, one individual claimed that using the term ‘BIPOC’ in my call for contributors was ‘insulting’:
Even now, it seems like the animosity toward the term remains.
So, I figured that, since I continue to use the term in conjunction with this blog, it was time to set the record straight:
What does ‘BIPOC’ mean?
Where does it come from?
How should (and shouldn’t) it be used?Continue reading “BIPOC, POC, or Black?: A Note on Terminology”