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The U.S. Census has shocked the senses for many who want to know why the descriptor, “Negro,” is being used in the 2010 questionnaire, the New York Daily News reported.

The term is included under Question No. 9 of the 2010 census questionnaire, which was approved by Congress over a year ago.

The question, which asks about race, provides the following answer choice: “Black, African Am., or Negro.”

The word “Negro,” referring to individuals of black African descent, represents to many a low moment in U.S. history. Considered a racial slur by leaders of the civil rights movement, the term has since been abandoned for its association with slavery and segregation.

But the Census Bureau has defended its decision to include the word, saying older generations of African Americans often identify themselves as “Negroes,” according to the newspaper.

“Many older African Americans identified themselves that way, and many still do,” Census Bureau spokesman Jack Martin told the newspaper. “Those who identify themselves as Negroes need to be included.”

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