A black person used to

A black person used to be described by the deaf by pressing the nose flat or pressing the nose with the letter "N" for negro. For an Asian person, the corner of the eye was pulled taut by the small finger hooked in a "J" for Japanese. One signed a Pole by thumbing a "big" nose. Greeks also had nose references and Italians were identified by making the sign of the cross on the forehead.
This old article describes relatively recent changes in the American Sign Language lexicon.
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