On Feb. 1, Tyler the Creator, a rapper and record producer infamous for his outrageousness, announced the beginning of the new month. “It’s N–r month,” he tweeted to his 1.3 million followers.

Well, that’s a different way to introduce the nationally recognized time of remembrance in February, a time more commonly known as Black History Month. While it was perceived as disrespectful by most of his audience, it prompts a question that continues to circulate around the country: What should we call ourselves and how do we identify?

It was civil rights activist the Rev. Jesse Jackson who is credited for popularizing the term “African-American” in an effort to replace “Black,” which was coined during the Black Power Movement of the 1960s. “Every ethnic group in this country has a reference to some land base, some historical cultural base. African-Americans have hit that level of cultural maturity,” Jackson told reporters at a news conference in Chicago in 1988.

Jackson’s ideology of “African-American” as a unifying term resonated with many. The New York director of the African-American Life and History, an organization which officially decides the national theme of Black History Month every year, Bessie Jackson, encourages the use of “African-American” to refer to Black people living in America.

“I don’t want to tell anyone how to address themselves, but by referring to yourself as ‘Black,’ you are refusing to acknowledge that your ancestors came from Africa,” Jackson said. “History has no color.”

Jackson potentially voices the opinion of many individuals in America, as exemplified by the wide use of the term in various forms of media. Intentional or not, it has become the politically correct way to refer to someone who is Black and who lives in America, whether they were born in America or not.

But Joan McKoy, a counselor for the Higher Education Opportunity Program at New York University, which helps low-income students gain admission to the university with financial support, said the term “African-American” is one she has never been able to relate to. She was born in Jamaica and moved to America later in her life, which she believes does not make her an “African-American.”

“‘African-American’ is a phrase or an identification of people who are Black and born in America,” McKoy said. “I never understood it to be a term that pertained to people who came from the [Caribbean] islands to the United States.”

When it comes to identifying herself, she says “Black” will do. “When it comes to filling out surveys, I check off ‘Black.’ I’ve never chosen African-American, because that is not what I am,” she said.

The difference of opinion lies not only in the community of “African-Americans” or “Blacks.” It is a difficult topic for other races too as the question becomes “What should we call them?” It is an issue that agencies such as the Census Bureau have had to deal with in order to solidify racial categories for the collection of data. In 2010, census forms had three choices: Black, African-American and Negro. The inclusion of “Negro” received a lot of criticism and was deemed racist by many, so it was not surprising when the Census Bureau announced in January that it was considering removing the term from the 2020 forms.

But what will happen in 2030? There was a time when “Negro” was politically correct. If a new category emerges in the years to come, the terms “Black” or “African-American” may too be at risk of extinction.