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Antiracism: A Resource Guide: Terminology

Questions to Consider: What's In a Word?


Who created these words?  What do they mean?  Who gets to decide?  Can a dictionary definition be racist?  Why does the Census Bureau list "White" at the top of its list of racial categories?

Project Implicit: Uncovering Hidden Bias

Psychologists at Harvard, the University of Virginia and the University of Washington created "Project Implicit" to educate the public about hidden biases and to provide a “virtual laboratory” for collecting data on the Internet.  “Hidden Bias Tests” can measure unconscious, or automatic, biases known as implicit social cognition – thoughts and feelings outside of conscious awareness and control.  


A  willingness to examine one’s own possible biases is an important step in understanding the roots of stereotypes and prejudice in our society. The tests cover race and many other topics. 

Take the test to uncover your hidden biases.

Terms for Library Searching

Keyword Search Terms for Finding Articles & Books --

from the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH)


  • Main Term(s): racism, race relations

  • Related Terms: interpersonal relations, social problems, multiculturalism

  • Broader Terms: discrimination, prejudice

  • Narrower Terms: race discrimination, indigenous peoples, minorities, implicit bias, white privilege



Question: Why isn't "white privilege" a Library of Congress subject heading?

This research guide by Santa Clara University Library explains "How Subject Heading Bias Occurs."

Defining Race


Specialized Dictionaries and Encyclopedias (E-books) (BELOW)

Race and the 2020 Census

Since the first census in 1790, the U.S. Census Bureau has collected data on race for use in making legislative, policy and legal decisions within the Federal Government. 

1790 Census document showing categories of peoples

The data is also used by state and local governments and a host of other organizations and can affect funding for a variety of programs.  The 2020 Census racial categories are based on Office of Management and Budget guidelines from 1997.  Respondents self-identify and may choose multiple categories.  “The racial categories included in the census questionnaire generally reflect a social definition of race recognized in this country, and not an attempt to define race biologically, anthropologically or genetically.” (


The 2020 Census uses the 1997 categories for race:

  • White – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.
  • Black or African American – A person having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa.
  • American Indian or Alaska Native – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America) and who maintains tribal affiliation or community attachment.
  • Asian – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.