Consultation on Race Classification

Race Re-classification

Research on ethnic identity by the Scottish Executive is going on now. For correct reflection in the next census statistics and ethnic classifications, the stand of the African women’s group Aberdeen (AWGA) on the issue of Race Re-classification are given below. 

Currently, Africans are classified as Black African in government, voluntary and private sector documents. The African community should have complete say in their choice of ethnic classification in this exercise.

The reasons the AWGA propose for re-classification are:

1. The current classification criterion is flawed as shown by underlining criterion of colour rather than ethnicity, continent, region or language.

2.    This classification from census 19991 and 2001 are seen as a violation of human right under article 2 of Human right abuse: when “Different racial or religious groups are not treated as equals”
    ( There are no international organizations (E.g. UN, IMF, WTO, ILO, FIFA Olympics and any other international organizations) that use colour to describe Africans. We don’t see any reason why our root and identity as Africans should not be respected and reflected in Scotland and the UK at large as African and African-British.

3.    If people from Asia are known as Asians, shouldn’t, it be the same for Africans? What principles were used for different classification?

4.     “Black people” are found, not only in Africa but also in Asia, Americas, and Australia, therefore, Black does not give a sense of identity or a point of reference i.e. where we come from. It is amorphous, therefore we reject it. We know where we come from. And why should any government insist on colour-coding Africans? 

5.   The word black in English dictionary connotes evil, inferior, therefore insinuates stereotyping and denigration. It is absurd to force people to bear a name that does not inspire them. Therefore the current classification can only feed racism and discrimination which is human right abusee by people of different skin colour and seen to be institutionalized by the government.

7.    Ideally, there should be nothing like black, white or green race but the human race,  therefore call     Africans by their correct ethnic identity.

8.     Africa is a continent of 0.6 billion people with sheds of the colour of skin (world statistics)

    Africans are the best people to decide what name people should call them, nobody else has that right to impose a name on them.

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Your Ethnic Identity

Many Africans would like to change the way they have been classified in Scotland and the UK at large. There is a campaign underway to change this classification in the next census. The African Women’s Group Aberdeen would like to take this time to ask Africans how they want to be classified. We promise to make the resulting public.

Currently, Africans are classified as Black African in the government, voluntary and private documents.
How would you like to be classified? Please tick one of the boxes as your choice or closest to your choice of classification.

Thank you.

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