alt. (context US politically correct English) A non-white person. n. (context US politically correct English) A non-white person.
n. (formal) any non-European non-White person [syn: person of colour]
The term person of color (alternative spelling: person of colour, plural: people of color, persons of color, sometimes abbreviated POC) is used primarily in the United States and Canada to describe any person who is not white. The term encompasses all non-white groups, emphasizing common experiences of systemic racism. The term is not equivalent in use to " colored", which was previously used in the US as a term for African Americans only.
People of color was revived from a term based in the French colonial era in the Caribbean and La Louisiane in North America: gens de couleur libres applied generally to people of mixed African and European descent who were freed from slavery or born into freedom. In the late 20th century, it was introduced in the United States as a preferable replacement to both non-white and minority, which are also inclusive, because it frames the subject positively; non-white defines people in terms of what they are not (white), and minority frequently carries a subordinate connotation. Style guides for writing from the American Heritage Guide to Contemporary Usage and Style, the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Mount Holyoke College, recommend the term over these alternatives. It may also be used with other collective categories of people such as students of color, men of color and women of color. Person of color typically refers to individuals of non- Caucasian heritage.