According to PIV, negro and nigrulo are synonymous meaning a person from the black race. However, they sound derogative to my Scandinavian ears.
Are they? Is there a less offensive word?
There is a danger in importing sensitivities from our national cultures because in cases like this, sensitivity varies so much. I think nigrulo is fine - and if it's not fine, I would hope that people who come to Esperanto would cut me a little slack for saying it.
It seems to me a more important question is whether it's important in any given situation to even mention race. In some cases it may be - and I'd say blankulo, nigrulo, etc.. I suppose you could also say afrik-devena.
The common word nowadays is nigrulo. The word negro used to be the common word until a few decades ago, but nowadays many Esperantists consider it to have a slight negative connotation (comparable to the English negro, not to the English word nigger).
The word nigrulo literally means 'black person', and it is just as neutral and non-derogative a term as black person is in English.
I do not think there is anything wrong with nigrulo, this is just a word for someone of the black race. In the same way, there is blankulo in PIV, for people of the white race. Those are just colours with a person-suffix. They (in my opinion) do not carry the same baggage that English or any other language would put on them.
As some side info, I can add that in my native Bulgarian, the N-word (негър) is a perfectly normal word for a black-skinned person, that doesn't carry the same derrogative meaning that the English has. It is used on TV an everywhere. For that reason, I would avoid implying something from one language to another. And because of that, I would say that negro is also a normal word in Esperanto.
I don't think the word in itself is problematic, I'll admit it sounds off to my western ears, but I don't think there's anything insidious there. I'm a black female esperantist -- yes a 'nigrulino' -- and I have had people tell me the language is "racist" and "sexist" because of certain words and the -in suffix. I however don't find it to be so.
In fact, what language isn't racist or sexist on some levels, and would that be because us humans are indeed racist and sexist. The good thing about Esperanto is that, I think, it tries to put people on equal footing, despite having been invented more than a century ago, in Eastern Europe, before the Holocaust when I'm sure tensions were rife, Esperanto itself seems to have a pretty noble cause. Now people... that's another matter
Do uzu "estimatan nigrulon" ;)
Jes, tio estas sxerco. Serioze, en Esperanto simple uzu "nigrulon", tio ja estas la gxusta vorto.
Kial en la angla oni evitas la vorton "negro"-n? La vorto mem estis neuxtrala sed en historio tio vaste uzigxis de sklavoposedantoj, do la vorto kunportas maldolcxan memoron kaj malamon. Unu vorto, malgraux kiel bela gxi aspektas, se gxi kunportas malamon, estas ofenda vorto. Se ne, gxi tauxgas por egala komunikado.
Esperantujo ne havas tian trsitan memoron kaj kulpan kulturon, do oni nenecesas esti sentema pri tio.
Respondo de iu flavulo ;)