I recently came across a medical article that accounted for a number of
ethnic physiological profiles (women, blacks and diabetics) when interpreting the outcome of a trial. They consistently used the term "blacks", presumably for subjects of African descent.
My question is, how specific is the term "blacks" as an ethnic profile; what does and what doesn't it entail? And on a related note, how laden is the term "blacks"? In my native tongue "blacks" and "niggers" carry about the same connotation.
Edit in response to the comments
Thank you all for your comments. From your responses I distill that "blacks" is more or less equivalent to "African-American", but might carry a negative connotation.
@Xanne: "physiological profile" might have been more accurate than "ethnic profile", although I reckon the line between these two is blurred in the current context.
@Mitch There is a perceived difference between 'black' (the adjective for the group) and 'blacks' (the group label). Even though this seems infinitesimally different, they have pretty different connotations.
@AndyT "Black" is not equivalent to "African American". All African Americans may be Blacks, but not all Blacks are African Americans. There are plenty of black people who are not American!
Most responses have been concerning the connotation of the term "blacks". I would like to shift the focus to my other question: Does anyone think that "blacks" may refer to a more specific or a more broad group than "African-American"?