Black is not a bad word!
Let me begin by saying we as Black people are not a monolith, so there will always be someone that has a very different belief than I do. However, I do know a lot of Black people and we have similar views about this topic...
I can't say Black!
To my White, TRA parents it's ok. I'm not sure who scolded you for using the word Black, but I'm giving you permission to no longer live in fear or bite your tongue to prevent the word from erupting from your lips.
I can't tell you how many times I've said the word Black when referring to another Black person, only to have a co-worker tell me that I would be angry or offended if they used the descriptive term. Immediately, I ask why...why would i be offended? I am a Black woman, and personally it's a characteristic that I love, so I'm confused...
Here's the real issue...You think it's offensive because You think it's bad. Consider this for a moment. If you were going to call me beautiful, sweet, kind, caring, intelligent, verbose (the list could go on) you wouldn't worry about me taking offense to it because these are terms of endearment. You believe these words are positive. You hesitate about saying Black because you believe that it's a negative term, or you believe that we think it's a negative term, or you feel like you shouldn't see skin color. Either way your concern is rooted in the idea that this is a bad way to label someone.
Take heart...the intention behind your words are powerful. If you don't intend to be negative when speaking about others, then feel free to speak about them. However; when your goal is to stereotype, demean, diminish or disrespect be ready for the consequences that come with using the word Black.