black man

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See also: blackman and Blackman


Alternative forms[edit]


black man (plural black men)

  1. A male adult member of an ethnic group having dark pigmentation of the skin, typically of sub-Saharan African descent; or the appearance thereof.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:person of color
    Coordinate term: black woman
    I saw a black man with a dog and a white man on a bicycle.
  2. (usually with the, dated) Black men or black people collectively; black culture.
    The state's policy of "separate but equal" was really about keeping the black man down.
    • 1873, Mary C Wilson, “Testimonies: Claims of Woman”, in Pennsylvania Yearly Meeting of Progressive Friends, page 16:
      We know how bitter was the contest which freed at once the black man from an enforced subordination and the white master from the moral and spiritual degradation which were inseparable from the unnatural relation in which he stood.
    • 1999, Irvine Belinda Robnett, quoting Victoria Black, How Long? How Long? : African-American Women in the Struggle for Civil Rights, →ISBN, page 41:
      Any time there is an opportunity for the Black man in the community to be in that leadership role, the community wants him there.
    • 2010, Alfred A. Davis, Black Man Made in the U. S. A., →ISBN, page 77:
      Ever since the Black man was accepted in professional sports, the game quality has constantly risen to new heights
  3. (now rare) An evil spirit, the bogeyman, a demon.
    • 1624, Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, volume I, New York Review Books, published 2001, page 387:
      [H]e suspects everything he hears and sees to be a devil, or enchanted, and imagineth a thousand chimeras and visions, which to his thinking he certainly sees, bugbears, talks with black men, ghosts, goblins, etc.
  4. (now rare) A German game of tag (also known as "Who Is Afraid of the Black Man?")
    • 1914, James Baldwin, In My Youth: From the Posthumous Papers of Robert Dudley, The Bobbs-Merrill Company, published 1914, page 343:
      The one known as "black man" was particularly interesting. It was no doubt as ancient as civilization, and was simply a drama without words wherein one of the children assumed the part of the Old Feller and proceeded to harry and capture the other players who must run from one "base" to the next to escape him. Those whom he caught became his allies and were obliged to assist him in his nefarious warfare.
  5. Used other than figuratively or idiomatically: see black,‎ man.
    • 1883, Henry Richter, Chess Simplified!, page 4:
      The white men are always put on that side of the board which commences by row 1, and the black men are placed opposite.
    • 1908, The Chess Amateur, volume 2, page 39:
      We will suppose that you are the player of the white men, and that your opponent[,] the player of the black men[,] is sitting opposite to you, ready for battle.

Coordinate terms[edit]