North Africa - Predominantly Arab
or Berber in ethnicity or culture and is mostly associated with the
Mediterranean and the Middle East. The sub-Saharan Africa is
predominantly black in ethnicity or culture and with few exceptions,
such as Mauritius and South Africa, is one of the poorest regions in the
The exact dividing line between the two regions
is not clear. However, according to one classification, sub-Saharan
Africa includes 48 nation's , 42 of which are on the African mainland.
Also, four island nation's in the southwest Indian Ocean (Madagascar,
The Comoros, Mauritius and Seychelles) and two in the Atlantic (Cape
Verde and Sao Tome and Principe) are considered part of Africa.
Accordingly, the countries of Africa are:
Central African Republic
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Republic of the Congo
So Tom and Prncipe
African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME):
Independent Methodist organization dedicated to black self-improvement
and Pan-Africanist ideals. In 1794, Richard Allen, the first AME bishop,
established Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia.
About 2,000 black Methodists facing persistent discrimination met at
Bethel to discuss legal independence from the Methodist church's main
body. Voting to organize under the name, African Methodist Episcopal
Church, the group successfully sued for independence before the
Pennsylvania Supreme Court. AME is acceptable on second reference and in
headlines. (See also Methodist Episcopal Church.)
African Methodist Episcopal Zion:
Black members within the John Street Church in New York City and
within American Methodism in general were denied ordination, forced to
sit in segregated pews and limited in their access to the Methodist
itinerant clergy and the Communion Table. Frustrated by this treatment,
two black John Street members, Peter Williams and William Miller, in
1796 founded the African Chapel. The chapel was later renamed Zion
Church and its members became known as Zionites. In 1801, with the help
of the Rev. John McClaskey a white minister who had opposed the
independence efforts of Richard Allens African Methodist Episcopal
Church (AME) in Philadelphia the Zion Church was incorporated as the
African Methodist Episcopal Church of the City of New York. James Varick
was its first pastor, later becoming the first black African Methodist
Episcopal Zion bishop. (See also Methodist Episcopal Church.)
African National Congress (ANC):
Leading South African political party and mostly identified with the
struggle against apartheid. Founded in 1912 by a group of middle-class,
college-educated black South Africans to fight racist laws by building
solidarity among the country's diverse societies. (See apartheid.)
Nelson Mandela joined the ANC in 1941, became its leader in 1992 and the
country's first black president in 1994. The other major South African
political parties are the National Party and the Inkatha Freedom Party.
ANC is acceptable on second reference and in headlines.
Afro-American: Archaic term to
describe a black person. Popular in 1960s and 70s, the name was
overtaken by black and later African American in the 80s and 90s. Do not
use. (See African, African American, black.)
Afrocentric, Afrocentrism: The
study of Africa, its history and culture from a non-European
perspective. The term Afrocentrism was first coined in 1976 by Molefi
Kete Asante and can be defined as rediscovering African and
African-American achievement, restoring Africa's rightful place in
history, and establishing its importance on par with European history,
culture and accomplishment.
AIDS: Acronym for acquired immune deficiency syndrome.
It is a disease that weakens the body's immune system and is spread
primarily through sexual contact, contaminated needles, infected blood
or blood products and from pregnant women to offspring. It is the most
advanced stage of HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus. AIDS was first
reported in America in 1981, and according to the U.S. Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), affects seven times more blacks
and three times more Hispanics than whites. It is a leading killer in
the black community. AIDS is acceptable in all references but should be
briefly defined as an immune deficiency disease in news copy.
alien: A term for a foreigner or
an immigrant that often conveys overtones of menace or strangeness.
Avoid its use in copy or headlines. The preferred term for those who
enter a country in violation of the law is illegal immigrants or
animal references: Avoid comparing people, in particular athletes, with animals even if they have a name such as Tiger or Fox.
apartheid: Racial segregation
specifically, a policy of segregation and political and economic
discrimination enforced by the white minority government against
non-white residents in South Africa from 1948 to 1994.
articulate: As an adjective, the
word is viewed by some as a subjective term that implies it is an
exceptional occurrence for people of color to speak confidently,
knowledgeably, clearly, eloquently and/or reasonably on a topic. It is
better to report what a person said rather than simply describe him or
her as such.
aunt, uncle: When not referring
to a family relationship, the terms may be insensitive or offensive
depending on its context. Historically, whites used the names often for
any black person in servitude. (See Aunt Jemima and Uncle Tom.) Today,
the names are used in the black community as terms of endearment or
respect for non-family members or close family friends. Traditionally in
the South, children are expected to address an adult by an honorific,
Miss, Maam, Aunt, Mister, Uncle or Sir.
Aunt Jemima: Born a slave in
1834, Nancy Green became the advertising worlds first living trademark
as Aunt Jemima. Working as a domestic in Chicago, Green was contracted
at age 59 to portray a happy cook to promote a pancake recipe by Pearl
Milling Co. She died in 1923, but her image as the pancake queen lives
on today. Some view the icon as a painful reminder of slavery, and her
character as the apron-clad cook with a bandanna tied on her head as a
negative stereotype of black women.