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Volokh Conspiracy

"The University of York Apologises for Saying 'Negro' in Lecture on Civil Rights Hero's Book Called the Philadelphia Negro"

So reports the Daily Mail (U.K.).


From the Daily Mail article (Julie Henry):

Lecturers were forced to apologise after students attending a class on race complained about quotations from renowned black writers which included the word 'negro'.

Undergraduates at the University of York said they had been left 'distressed' after an academic read out passages which included the word from works by [W.E.B.] Du Bois, an African-American sociologist and civil rights activist, and Frantz Fanon, a French psychiatrist and anti-colonialist – both black academics….

[English Department head Helen] Smith wrote a letter of apology saying that while the term was part of a quotation and was not used 'offensively', she recognised that reading it out had caused 'considerable distress'.

'I am extremely sorry that this happened, and I have written to all staff in the department to make it clear that they should not pronounce racial slurs as part of their teaching and that if those words appear in texts or on PowerPoint slides, they should be prefaced with an appropriate content warning,' she wrote.

A follow-up e-mail to lecturers "asked them to refrain from saying the word, written throughout the email as 'n*gro'."