1 Colored referring to skin color is first recorded in the early 17th century and was adopted in the US by emancipated slaves as a term of racial pride after the end of the Civil War. In the US, and in Britain (as coloured), it was the accepted term until the 1960s, when it was superseded by black. The term colored lost favor among black people during this period and is now widely regarded as offensive except in historical contexts and in particular as part of the name of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). 2 In South Africa, the term coloured (also written Coloured) has a different history. There it is used not as a synonym for black, but to refer to people of mixed-race parentage rather than to African peoples and their descendants. Under apartheid, it was imposed as an official racial designation. However, in modern use, the term is not generally considered offensive or derogatory.