What Does BIPOC Mean? This Instagram Post Clearly Explains The Inclusive Acronym

After a year of unrest and continued calls for racial justice, the term BIPOC has become more widespread.

It’s also popped up more frequently in pop culture conversations in the midst of racist accusations of The Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell and Chris Harrison. Multiple statements have mentioned the term BIPOC, but haven’t included full definitions.

As it’s been used more frequently, the term has brought up more confusion and misunderstanding. So, what does BIPOC mean and how should it be used?

What does BIPOC stand for?

BIPOC is an inclusive term that stands for “Black, Indigenous, and people of color.” It’s intended to combat the erasure of these diverse cultures. The earliest use of BIPOC on social media was a 2013 tweet, per The New York Times. The term POC has been in use since the late 1700s.

Antiracism educators, like Marie Beecham, have shared more about the meaning of BIPOC and respectful usage in educational posts on Instagram.

“The Good BIPOC, pronounced “buy-pock,” is an umbrella term. It stands for Black people, Indigenous peoples, and people of color. It has grown in popularity because of its specificity (compared to POC) and its sense of humanity (compared to minority, marginalized, non-white).”

https://www.instagram.com/p/CJ6gjc2B6U-/

A post shared by Marie Beecham (@mariebeech)

How should you use BIPOC?

Beecham explained do’s and don’ts for using the term BIPOC on Twitter.

Do: “Use BIPOC when referring to groups as a whole (e.g. “BIPOC communities are affected more by air pollution”). BIPOC is generally accepted, but a proper term doesn’t guarantee proper use. If someone tells you that you have misused it, earnestly listen.”

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