Many people, especially among the educated, use the term "Afro-Colombian" as a fairly neutral term to identify others; fewer use it to identify themselves. Slavery on the Spanish Frontier: The Colombian Chocó , 1680-1810. The term "Negro" (Black), although common, can be used disparagingly; some people, Afro-Colombians or not, avoid it; others use it as a noun; a few use it only as a qualifier (e.g., "Gente Negra," Black people). Saints and Spirits: A Study of Differential Acculturation in Colombian Negro Communities. Since the late 1980s, with increasing Black politicization, the term "Negro" is more common, although reference to "Comunidades Negras," Black communities, has been institutionalized to some extent by a 1993 law that refers to them as such. " Cimarrones and Palenques: Runaways and Resistance in Colonial Colombia." Slavery and Abolition, A Journal of Comparative Studies 6(3): 131-151. Some people use the euphemistic "Moreno" (Brown) or "Morocho" (Dark), others the general "Gente de Color" (Colored people), to identify themselves and others.
More difficult still to categorize are the native inhabitants of the islands of San Andrés, Providencia, and Santa Catalina, Colombian possessions about 165 kilometers off the coast of Nicaragua. These people belong historically and culturally to a West Indian cultural complex formed under British colonial influence but have been subject to increasingly intense colombianización since early in the twentieth century. This essay will not deal with them (but see Cifuentes 1986 and Wilson 1973). "Instrumentos musicales del alto y bajo Chocó." Revista Colombiana de Folclor 2(6): 77-114. Blackness and Race Mixture: The Dynamics of Racial Identity in Colombia. Terminology is morally and politically charged, and therefore usage is complex. The Devil and Commodity Fetishism in South America.
The term "Costeño" (coastal dweller), is often used to imply blackness, since many Afro-Colombians live in coastal regions.
In the English-language literature, the terms "Black" (sometimes "black") or "Black person" are more common than "Afro-Colombian." Location.