In Scandinavia, one starts to take the American's sensitiveness into account but linguistically speaking, it was just the word for a black person. Dear Danish and Swedish forum members, do you still use it or did that change?
Being Danish I wouldn't call a black person neger/negro, but...well you guessed it
: a black person. Heard of people saying "afroamerican" when it is a black person coming from America, but primarily in public situations like on the News. Privately I hear "black people" mentioned without any bad underlying meanings.
To me 'negro' has a negative tone despite I know it comes from latin and simply just states someone with dark skin (black). But history made it a bad word. On the other hand we do have some old words still in use using the word 'neger', i.e. a sweet dark chocolate top with cream inside placed on a thin biscuit, still known as "Negerkys" (Kiss of a negro). Now a days it has a totally neutral name you could use instead ("Flødeboller" - "Buns with cream"), but if you go into a sweet store and ask for a "Negerkys" for instance to put on top of your ice waffle then everyone knows what you ask for - and it tastes delicious
Lived in South Africa a couple of years where they call a spade for a spade. Had a smaller burglery where I confrontated the thief who was a black woman. Was afterwards asked by the police (two black guys) quite "how" black she was:...Black like dark chocolate? Black as a nice cup of coffee with just a bit milk in it or perhaps more like a decent cappuchino?
In South Africe people are divived into three colour groups; blacks, whites and coloured people (everyone from India/Asia). The black people called themselves for blacks too and I didn't sensed any tension about calling anyone coloured, black or white.
I realise that the proper terms for 'darker skinned people' change due to where I am in the world, so I'm always sensitive to where I am and what the right terms may be around there. So far I seem to get fine by using the term "black" and truly hope no one is affended by that. That is surely never my intention.
This is of course just my opinion and other Danes or Skandinavians may feel otherwise
...By the way I ended up describing the thief as "dark as nice, mild cocoa in the morning". Never thought I would describe any person like that to the police though