Word Origin & History
"black person," 1838, Amer.Eng., originally the name of a black minstrel character in a popular song-and-dance act, from a T.D. Rice song that appeared 1828. Even before that, crow had been a derogatory term for a black man. Association with segregation dates from 1842, in ref. to a railroad car for
blacks. Modern use as a type of racial discrimination is from 1943.