Here’s a blog post I just came cross, from AdAge.com, that adds to the dialogue on the use of the word “uppity” to describe African Americans.
Pepper Miller points out that some African Americans take the use of “elitist” to describe Barack Obama as code for “uppity”:
As another example, WVON-AM Chicago talk-show host Perri Small nailed the rationale for black frustration over charges of Sen. Obama’s “elitist” attitude during an appearance on CNN last month. Ms. Small explained that many in the black community took “elitist” to mean “uppity,” a particularly troublesome translation as the term “uppity” dates back to pre-Civil Rights and the Jim Crow era. Despite progress in the black community, “uppity” continues to be perceived as code for blacks who do not “stay their place.”