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  • Black vs. African American

     Jeff Kasky updated 5 months, 2 weeks ago 4 Members · 4 Posts
  • Polly Voss

    February 7, 2021 at 2:21 pm

    For years, I have gone back and forth on how to identify Black/African American patients. Knowing that not all black individuals are of African descent, what term do you use? “Black” or “African American”?

  • Liz R

    February 7, 2021 at 9:52 pm

    I had quite a lengthy discussion on my instagram surrounding this, and the general consensus was to just ask what people are most comfortable with! I’ve started asking all of my patients, the first time I meet them, how they prefer to be identified in terms of pronouns, race, ethnicity, etc. For example: “I like to get to know all of my patients on not just a healthcare basis but a human basis as well, and encourage you to ask me questions about myself if you have any! Would you mind sharing what pronouns you use, how you identify racially or ethnically, or let me know anything else about yourself?” It’s been well received so far!

  • Kesi Mac

    February 8, 2021 at 1:19 am

    It depends on the person’s culture, pride, nationality, context of the statement, and as Liz mentioned identity. Usually both are okay to use when it’s an American citizen you’re talking to/about, but of course you don’t always know that, so just ask! 🙂

  • Jeff Kasky

    February 8, 2021 at 3:57 pm

    I (white guy, FYI) have always gone by a person’s intent. I’ve heard people say “African American” with a load of sarcasm attached, and known that they were mocking the person about whom they were speaking. For me, I was raised with the word “black” as the term used when it was necessary to differentiate one person or another based on their race. I feel most comfortable using this term, and I only use it when it is absolutely necessary to make this differentiation.

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