When Raeana Roberson (pictured) appeared for jury duty at the Queens, N. Y., county courthouse on Monday, she was taken aback when she saw “Negro” as one of the options in the self-identifier portion of a court document she filled out, according to The Huffington Post.
Roberson, who is a teacher, was angered by the antiquated term that was still found on a 21st century court document. The 25-year-old educator took a picture of the document and shared it with her Facebook friends. “REALLY, Negro …that I am not. Hello, 2014 …jury duty…,” the caption read.
The young woman took her document and beef to a Black court employee but claims she did not get a reaction.
The term “Negro,” which is used on forms across New York state, offended Roberson because it is reminiscent of the segregation struggles her grandfather was forced to endure during the Jim Crow era.
The Huffington Post spoke to Arlene Hackel, a spokesperson for the New York State office of court administration, who stated that the racial identifiers actually come from the U.S. Census Bureau. Hackel told the news outlet, “We don’t have expertise in classification, so we follow their language, their classification, which is explained on the information card.”
The U.S. Census Bureau reported last year that they would officially drop the offensive racial classification this year, but New York has not made the change.
According to Hackel, a change is coming down the pike regarding the use of the term “Negro” but no specific timeframe has been given.
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