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Saturday, February 9, 2019

China[edit]

Huang (yellow) is a common surname, but does not refer to the Asian race as was popular in western languages until recently. However, the Yellow Emperor was a legendary founder of China. Yellow is also identified with the "center" cardinal direction (blue-east, red-south, white-west, black-north) while China is known as Zhongguo "middle kingdom".
White (白 bai) means "plain" or "free of charge" in many common expressions and was not traditionally used to refer to Europeans or descendants, who were usually identified as "洋人" (yáng rén, "people from [across the] ocean") or some variety of "barbarians" with reddish or pinkish skin colors (e.g. Minnan ang mo, "red-haired"). Contemporary Chinese, has, however, adopted Western usage to some extent. Black (黑 hei) is typically applied to those of African race today. However, the term "black resident" (黑户) also refers to unregistered rural migrants in cities (as in black market). The word 白, when used under certain contexts, is offensive, taking on a meaning extended from "plain" to "uneducated".
Names of ethnic minorities sometimes contain colors, not to indicate skin color, but simply for identification, possibly based on traditional clothing or geographical direction.
  • Red, Black, Blue/Green, White, Flowery (multicolored) Miao (Hmong)
  • the Bai (literally White) are a lowland people of Yunnan
  • Black Bone and White Bone Yi
  • The Qing dynasty Manchu military were divided into Eight Banners identified by color and with ethnic associations
The Five Races Under One Union theory of national unity can be visualized through an old ROC flag and a variant which emphasized Han administration while de-emphasizing the top-to-bottom hierarchy found in the original flag. Red - Han, Yellow - Manchu, Blue - Mongol, White - Hui and Black - Tibetan.

Korea[edit]

The word, "인종" (injong), is used when describing a person's race, which also incorporates his or her skin color. "백" (baekWhite), used with "인" (in; person) to make "백인" (baegin), literally means "white-person" in Korean. "흑" (heuk) is used to describe persons of African descent, it literally means "black" in hanja.

Central Asia[edit]

The five cardinal directions were historically identified with colors. This was common to the Central Asian cultural area and was carried west by the westward migration of the Turks. These directional color terms were applied both to geographic features and sometimes to populations as well.

United States[edit]

Racial segregation in the United States prior to the 1960s was binary, white vs. non-white, hence the term "person of color".[21]
At college campus protests during the 1960s, a "Flag of the Races" was in use, with five stripes comprising red, black, brown, yellow, and white tones.[22][unreliable source?]
In the 2000 United States Census, two of the five self-designated races are labeled by a color.[23] In the 2000 US Census, "White" refers to "person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa."[23] In the 2000 US Census, "Black or African American" refers to a "person having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa."[23] The other three self-designated races are not labeled by color.[23]

See also[edit]

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