black, noun and adjective

Origin:
EnglishShow more Special senses of general English.
A. noun
1. A relatively dark-skinned person, in any of the following senses (some of which are also in general English use):
a. A member of any of the darker-skinned peoples of South Africa. See also sense B 2. Cf. sense c.
1616 A. Childe in R. Raven-Hart Before Van Riebeeck (1967) 85The 17- 18- and 19th dayes wee mad way with ouar mene to remmedye and wattar ouar shepes and everey day expectinge ffreshe vetteles from the blackes to refreshe ouar mene butt they browte us nott aney.
1915 D. Fairbridge Torch Bearer 73‘What blacks?’ he asked breathlessly. ‘Kaffirs or Hottentots?’
b. A dark-skinned person of African origin, belonging to a people whose home language is of the Sintu (or Bantu) group; historical, during the apartheid era, one classified as a ‘Black’ person; cf. African noun1 sense 1. See also black black (sense B 1 d), classify, non-black.
Note:
‘Black’ has replaced ‘African’ (see African noun1) as the (presently) most widely accepted term. In apartheid legislation, ‘Black’ was the last official racial designation applied to black African people, earlier terms being ‘Native’ (see Native noun sense 1) and ‘Bantu’ (see Bantu noun sense 1), each in turn being judged offensive because used in apartheid terminology. See also kaffir sense 2 b (derogatory and offensive). Cf. Asian, coloured, white.
1696 J. Ovington Voy. to Suratt 283This fair Country which the Blacks inhabit, is blest with a Soil as pregnant as the Days are pleasant.
1983 H. Oppenheimer in Rand Daily Mail 12 Oct. 11The advantages of coloured and Indian representation in Parliament are..to be bought at the cost of further alienation of the blacks.
c. A member of a people or group which was disadvantaged by apartheid laws, i.e. a member of any but the white group. Cf. sense a, and non-white noun.
Note:
Distinct from sense b above: see note at sense B 3.
1953 G. Magwaza in Drum Apr. 29I’ve tried a couple of collective nouns for the lot: Non-Europeans, non-whites and whatnot. I’m fed up with these negatives...I’m now toying with blacks and non-blacks.
1989 Reader’s Digest Illust. Hist. of S. Afr. 487Black, Person whose skin colour is not white. However, apartheid ideology refers only to Africans as ‘blacks’, and coloured, Indian and African people together as ‘non-whites’. This book uses mainly the first definition.
d. Special Combinations
black-on-black adjective, applied to violent or exploitive action seen as perpetrated by black people against black people; often in the phrase black-on-black violence; cf. white-on-black (see white noun sense 2 b).
Note:
See note at faction.
1986 Financial Mail 13 June 6Black-on-black violence erupts once again in Cape Town’s squatter camps.
1990 Sash Vol.33 No.1, 19It will become generally known..that the conflict is not a matter simply of black on black violence or even simply of a UDF/Inkatha struggle for power but that there are many complicating factors.
2. Ostrich-farming. A long black feather from a cock ostrich, taken from the place where the wing joins the body. Also attributive. See also onderbaatjie. Cf. black butt.
c1881 A. Douglass Ostrich Farming 75The black and drab feathers..protect the quill feathers for the first four months of their growth.
1911 O. Evans in S. Playne Cape Col. 55Two rows of blacks..act as guards over the prime whites.
B. adjective
1. Of or pertaining to dark-skinned people of African origin whose home languages belong to the Sintu (Bantu) group. Cf. African adjective1 sense 2 a.
a. Applied to a person or persons: belonging to a people whose language is of the Sintu (Bantu) group (cf. sense A 1 b).
1795 C.R. Hopson tr. of C.P. Thunberg’s Trav. I. 136A traveller who has not been provident enough to bring water with him, has no other resource..than strictly to examine, whether any black shepherds are to be found attending their master’s flocks in the neighbourhood.
1991 Census 91 (Central Statistical Service) (pamphlet)‘Black language’ means any language of the Black population groups, e.g. North Sotho, Xhosa, Zulu, etc.
b. Of, pertaining to, intended for, or predominantly used by those whose home language is of the Sintu (Bantu) group.
1949 A.G. Barlow in Hansard 24 May 6462There is no one man who does not shiver in his shoes when he thinks of this great black problem we have in this country that may overwhelm us at any time.
1989 A. Donaldson in Style Aug. 98The industry, to put it mildly, is huge: Investment in black taxis is estimated at R3 000-million.
c. Of a town or area: in the v. phr. to go black, to be officially incorporated into a homeland.
1974 E. Prov. Herald 2 Aug.Peddie declared Black village...It was business as usual yesterday after an announcement..that the village would go Black from September.
1978 Weekend Post 28 Oct. 8The town went black in 1975, a year before Transkei’s independence.
d. As a distinguishing epithet in Special Combinations
black-belt nonce, an area or areas in which black townships are situated (see township sense 2 a); also attributive;
black black [black ‘dark skinned, of African origin, speaking one of the Sintu (Bantu) group of languages as home language’ (see sense a) + black ‘one who is not white’ (see sense A 1 c)], a dark-skinned person of African origin and whose home language belongs to the Sintu (Bantu) group; see also note at sense 3; African noun1 sense 1;
black danger, swart gevaar sense 1;
black market, the black consumer market; also attributive;
1968 Cole & Flaherty House of Bondage 61Rush-hour trains to the white suburbs are rarely more than three minutes apart. Similar trains to black-belt destinations lag as much as half an hour apart.
1990 A. Clarke in Frontline Sept. 26Was he trying to impress me that he was working around the clock?..Was it something to do with ‘black time’?
2. Of or for the various darker-skinned peoples of South Africa. Cf. brown adjective sense 3. See also sense A 1 a.
1841 B. Shaw Memorials 87I am happy, however, to state, that in my journey to Cape Town, and other places, I have held service where white and black people were mingled in the same congregation.
1953 G. Magwaza in Drum Nov. 51The whites would like to know how black people want to be called...They’re Africans, but this is not as inclusive as ‘black’ or ‘white.’ All black people are not Africans, just as all white people are not English!
3.
a. Of a person or persons from any of those groups which were historically disadvantaged by apartheid laws, i.e. from any but the white group; cf. non-white adjective sense 1. See also sense A 1 c.
Note:
This use of ‘black’, with its ideological connotations, is distinct from that in sense 2. Since the early 1970s it has been part of the philosophy of the Black Consciousness Movement (see Black Consciousness sense 2), emphasizing (as grounds for political solidarity) the common predicament of those who were discriminated against under apartheid; it has met with mixed responses from those whom it is used to describe.
1970 Daily News 9 JuneStudents at the University of Natal Medical School..have decided to call themselves ‘Black’ rather than ‘non-European’ students.
1990 R. Malan My Traitor’s Heart 182The court was so white, so Western, and Simon so black — or more truly, so African. The psychiatrist who ultimately testified in the Hammerman’s defense was also ‘black’, also a victim of apartheid — but he was Indian, not African, and as culturally alien from Simon as I was.
b. Pertaining to, intended for, or predominantly used by groups which were historically disadvantaged by apartheid laws, i.e. by all but the white group; non-white adjective sense 2.
1970 Minutes of Meeting. (Rhodes University S.R.C.) 3 MayAt a recent Student Body meeting the students of the Black section of the University of Natal voted to change the name of their institution from UNNE (University of Natal Non-European) to UNB (University of Natal Black Section).
1988 T. Anders in Star 9 Aug. 5A local Indian businessman was recently given back the R100 he had paid for a..raffle ticket because the right-wing school management board decided it would not accept ‘black money’.
A member of any of the darker-skinned peoples of South Africa.
A dark-skinned person of African origin, belonging to a people whose home language is of the Sintu (or Bantu) group; historical, during the apartheid era, one classified as a ‘Black’ person;
A member of a people or group which was disadvantaged by apartheid laws, i.e. a member of any but the white group.
A long black feather from a cock ostrich, taken from the place where the wing joins the body. Also attributive.
Of or pertaining to dark-skinned people of African origin whose home languages belong to the Sintu (Bantu) group.
belonging to a people whose language is of the Sintu (Bantu) group (cf. A 1 b).
Of, pertaining to, intended for, or predominantly used by those whose home language is of the Sintu (Bantu) group.
to be officially incorporated into a homeland.
Of or for the various darker-skinned peoples of South Africa.
Of a person or persons from any of those groups which were historically disadvantaged by apartheid laws, i.e. from any but the white group;
Pertaining to, intended for, or predominantly used by groups which were historically disadvantaged by apartheid laws, i.e. by all but the white group; non-whiteadjective2.

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