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Historicity vs. Sensitivity

Journal Entry: Wed Jan 13, 2016, 8:45 PM

I need to know.
Certain words have changed their connotation over time. Specifically, I'm thinking of "Negro." At one point in time, that was just the generic term for people of African ancestry, be they Africans, Americans, islanders, or Britons. Bigots used it to deride, while others used it simply as a descriptor. There wasn't really a sensitive alternative.
So, asking as a white person who wants to write a (white) Victorian character accurately without being a complete asshole in the modern day: Is it ever acceptable to use "Negro" in first-person narrated historical fiction?
If no, okay. Is there an historically accurate alternative that wouldn't give offense? (Probably not, but it's worth a shot.) What would be an acceptable substitution?
If yes: Can a character who uses the term ever be perceived sympathetically, or is it an automatic marker of bigotry? (Even if used only once?)

Please message me if you don't want to post a public reply.

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MR Graham
Artist | Professional | Literature
United States
MR Graham is a native Texan who traces strong cultural roots back to Scotland, Poland, England, and Germany. A mild-mannered Latin teacher during the day, Graham transforms at night into a raging Holmesian loremaster and rabid novelist.
Though passionate about all scholarship and academia, Graham's training and true love lies with anthropology, particularly the archaeological branch.
Also, steampunk and vampires.



:star: Please refrain from thanking me for things. If I faved, critiqued, commented, collected, or watched, it's because you deserved it. If you absolutely feel the need to express gratitude, just pay it forward. :star:


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ChronoCritic Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2016
Thanks for the llama, have one in return.
QuiEstInLiteris Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2016  Professional Writer
maxnort Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2015   Writer
so, how many tweed jackets do you own?

I don't have money on this, I'm just curious.
QuiEstInLiteris Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2015  Professional Writer
Um... all of them. :B

Four, I think. Two houndstooth, one herringbone, and one plaid.
Tweed is my spirit animal.
maxnort Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2015   Writer
I have always left the tweed to run free in the wild. I did hunt a denim once. it had leather elbow patches.

now, my spirit animal would be the lemming.
TheFlawedOne Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Sorry for not refraining but, thanks for joining our group, I hope you enjoy yourself.
QuiEstInLiteris Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2015  Professional Writer
:wave: HELLO, PERSON! 
And I certainly shall. >3 
sigilogos Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for favouring my work!  Hah, whatcha gonna do about it?
QuiEstInLiteris Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2015  Professional Writer
:< You fiend.
sigilogos Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
MWAH HA ha heh
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