Here’s what you need to know about this new identity.
Black leaders started using the term “people of color” in the 1960s. Today, it means something more.
As anti-racism efforts unfold across the United States, we see racial minorities in solidarity with one another. But are they participating as individual African Americans, Latinos and Asian Americans — or are they politically engaged as members of a shared group?
My research suggests it is probably the latter.
At nearly 40 percent of the population and growing, nonwhites are no longer minorities or roving bands of disparate groups. Many nonwhites today identify as “people of color,” rejecting any notion that their lives are politically marginal.
I say this confidently because I have observed people of color’s politics in the past three years across large-scale surveys and experiments that involved nearly 15,000 people, while conducting personal, in-depth interviews with 25 carefully selected black, Asian and Latino adults. My research reveals that the label “people of color” was created by — and for — African Americans and has evolved into an identity that politically mobilizes many nonwhites toward common goals — unless “people of color” feel that others in the coalition are ignoring their own racial group’s unique challenges.
Source: Washington Post