President Obama has made major progress in striking racially offensive terms used in reference to people of color from language included in past, present and future federal laws.

The H.R. 4238 bill, which was unanimously passed by Congress earlier this year and singed into law by President Obama on Friday, completely removes the use of several outdated racial terms including “Negro and “Oriental.”  

President Obama and Misty Copeland on the Lessons They’ve Learned About Race

Loading the player...


“The term ‘Oriental’ has no place in federal law and at long last this insulting and outdated term will be gone for good,” Representative Grace Meng said in a statement on Friday according to CNN. 
As a result of the bill’s passage, the removed terms will be updated to now read, “Asian American, Native Hawaiian, a Pacific Islander, African American, Hispanic, Puerto Rican, Native American, or an Alaska Native”.

WANT MORE FROM ESSENCE? Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news.