African American or black—what’s the right term to use?
Urban Wire: Race and Ethnicity (Blog of The Urban Institute):
Today, some people view “black” and “African American” interchangeably. But many have strong opinions that “African American” is too restrictive for the current US population. In part, the term African American came into use to highlight that the experiences of the people here reflect both their origins in the African continent and their history on the American continent…
You may also want to read this article:
An ‘African American’ or ‘a black’?
“Black” is common as an adjective — “the first black president” — but as a noun, it is more common to use “an African-American.” However, it appears that “a black” is not only approved by the Bloomberg style guide, but required.
“We say that someone is black rather than African-American,” the Bloomberg style guide reads. “Ethnic descriptions used in hyphenation with ”American” are best reserved for immigrants or first-generation Americans.”