RACE It's Black, not black

Texas Writer

Veteran Member
The Associated Press last week revised its style manual, saying "Black," not "black" is the preferred term. The AP hasn't decided yet whether we whites will become White. Here's the entire story.

The Associated Press changed its writing style guide Friday to capitalize the “b” in the term Black when referring to people in a racial, ethnic or cultural context, weighing in on a hotly debated issue.

The change conveys “an essential and shared sense of history, identity and community among people who identify as Black, including those in the African diaspora and within Africa,” John Daniszewski, AP’s vice president of standards, said in a blog post Friday. “The lowercase black is a color, not a person.”

The news organization will also now capitalize Indigenous in reference to original inhabitants of a place.

Daniszewski said the revisions aligned with long-standing identifiers such as Latino, Asian American and Native American. He said the decision followed more than two years of research and debate among AP journalists and outside groups and thinkers.

“Our discussions on style and language consider many points, including the need to be inclusive and respectful in our storytelling and the evolution of language,” he wrote. “We believe this change serves those ends.”

The AP said it expects to make a decision within a month on whether to capitalize the term white. Among the considerations are what that change might mean outside the United States.

An ongoing debate over capitalization of Black accelerated in many U.S. newsrooms in recent weeks as journalists grappled with massive protests and sweeping changes in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death at the hands of police.

The Los Angeles Times, USA Today and NBC News last week embraced capitalization, and the National Association of Black Journalists urged other news organizations to follow.

The AP Stylebook of usage policies is highly influential in the industry, with many news organizations, government and public relations agencies using it as a guide.

The death of Floyd, a Black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee to his neck, sparked nationwide protests and lent momentum to a variety of social changes, from police reform and the public removal of Confederate statues and flags to the capitalization of Black.

“It’s certainly long overdue,” said Doris Truong, director of training and diversity at the Poynter Institute, a journalism think tank. “It’s something that people who are Black have been calling for for a long time.”

It’s also a relatively simple step for news organizations dealing anew with many complex issues, such as whether their journalists can be opinionated on social media or march in Black Lives Matter demonstrations.

Nearly a century ago, sociologist W.E.B. DuBois waged a letter-writing campaign to get newspapers to capitalize Negro, saying a lowercase “n” was a sign of disrespect and racism. The New York Times took his advice in 1930, calling it an act of recognition and respect for those who’d spent generations in “the lower case.”

Negro fell out of fashion with the Black Power movement of the 1960s, coming to symbolize subservience. African American was often used, but is not always accurate — some Black people don’t trace their lineage to Africa.

One Black communications professional who published an open letter to the AP earlier this week calling for the capitalization said Friday he was pleased that the change happened on Juneteenth, which commemorates when the last enslaved African Americans learned they were free 155 years ago.

“Not having a capital letter has felt disrespectful,” said David Lanham, director of communications for the Brooking Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program. “There is a shared cultural identity with Black Americans and that goes through our shared experiences. That also goes to the lack of geographic history as a result of slavery.”

The Seattle Times and Boston Globe both changed their practices to capitalize Black late last year. The Globe explained that the word has evolved from a description of a person’s skin color to signify a race and culture, and deserves the uppercase treatment much the way other ethnic terms do.

Lanham, who spearheaded an internal process to capitalize Black at Brookings last year, said he expects AP’s shift will lead many other news organizations and other groups to make a similar change.

“Knowing how closely their Stylebook is viewed as the Bible for journalism, this is now the big domino to fall,” he said.

apnews.com/71386b46dbff8190e71493a763e8f45a
 
Last edited:

Sentinel

Senior Member
I think they should do it. After all, with all the major problems in this world, it would certainly be nice to know that we finally solved one of the (sarcasm).
 

FREEBIRD

Has No Life - Lives on TB
I have a different take on this:
The "Associated Press" decided this.
I have no reason to think that all those who weighed in on this are of African ancestry, but it's likely they are all "progressives".

By capitalizing one racial term and not the other, they set up another round of the game, "let's you and him fight".
 

bev

Veteran Member
I really don’t have a big problem with this, as long as White is also capitalized when used in similar context.

Some smart people, here and in real life, have told me “pick your battles.”
 

pauldingbabe

The Great Cat
Yay!! Now we can safely go back to black walnuts, blackberries, black cherries, black raspberries, etc.
But then there is this:


USAGE NOTE
This word may begin with a capital letter in the sense shown in 3).

black(
blahk
)
noun
1. (color)
a. el negro
(M)
She likes black; she says it looks professional.
Le gusta el negro; dice que se ve profesional.
adjective

2. (color)
a. negro
I love that black coat you wore yesterday.
Me encanta el abrigo negro que tenías puesto ayer.
b. oscuro
The sky is black; I think it's going to rain.
El cielo está oscuro; creo que va a llover.

3. (skin color)
a. negro
Barack Obama was the first black president of the United States.
Barack Obama fue el primer presidente negro de los Estados Unidos.
b. de color
The first black people came to the island in the 18th century.
Las primeras personas de color llegaron a la isla durante el siglo dieciocho.

not the entire list mind you...but im just wondering for a friend.
 

Meemur

Voice on the Prairie
I agree, but as the editor of a newspaper I have to follow the style manual.
You will avoid a lot of arguments if you follow the guidelines of the most recent version of the AP manual; however, I've known elderly editors who created their own style sheets! It depends a lot on the readers. Some battles are not worth fighting, in my opinion.
 

fireweed

Contributing Member
The Associated Press last week revised its style manual, saying "Black," not "black" is the preferred term. The AP hasn't decided yet whether we whites will become White. Here's the entire story.

The Associated Press changed its writing style guide Friday to capitalize the “b” in the term Black when referring to people in a racial, ethnic or cultural context, weighing in on a hotly debated issue.

The change conveys “an essential and shared sense of history, identity and community among people who identify as Black, including those in the African diaspora and within Africa,” John Daniszewski, AP’s vice president of standards, said in a blog post Friday. “The lowercase black is a color, not a person.”

The news organization will also now capitalize Indigenous in reference to original inhabitants of a place.

Daniszewski said the revisions aligned with long-standing identifiers such as Latino, Asian American and Native American. He said the decision followed more than two years of research and debate among AP journalists and outside groups and thinkers.

“Our discussions on style and language consider many points, including the need to be inclusive and respectful in our storytelling and the evolution of language,” he wrote. “We believe this change serves those ends.”

The AP said it expects to make a decision within a month on whether to capitalize the term white. Among the considerations are what that change might mean outside the United States.

An ongoing debate over capitalization of Black accelerated in many U.S. newsrooms in recent weeks as journalists grappled with massive protests and sweeping changes in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death at the hands of police.

The Los Angeles Times, USA Today and NBC News last week embraced capitalization, and the National Association of Black Journalists urged other news organizations to follow.

The AP Stylebook of usage policies is highly influential in the industry, with many news organizations, government and public relations agencies using it as a guide.

The death of Floyd, a Black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee to his neck, sparked nationwide protests and lent momentum to a variety of social changes, from police reform and the public removal of Confederate statues and flags to the capitalization of Black.

“It’s certainly long overdue,” said Doris Truong, director of training and diversity at the Poynter Institute, a journalism think tank. “It’s something that people who are Black have been calling for for a long time.”

It’s also a relatively simple step for news organizations dealing anew with many complex issues, such as whether their journalists can be opinionated on social media or march in Black Lives Matter demonstrations.

Nearly a century ago, sociologist W.E.B. DuBois waged a letter-writing campaign to get newspapers to capitalize Negro, saying a lowercase “n” was a sign of disrespect and racism. The New York Times took his advice in 1930, calling it an act of recognition and respect for those who’d spent generations in “the lower case.”

Negro fell out of fashion with the Black Power movement of the 1960s, coming to symbolize subservience. African American was often used, but is not always accurate — some Black people don’t trace their lineage to Africa.

One Black communications professional who published an open letter to the AP earlier this week calling for the capitalization said Friday he was pleased that the change happened on Juneteenth, which commemorates when the last enslaved African Americans learned they were free 155 years ago.

“Not having a capital letter has felt disrespectful,” said David Lanham, director of communications for the Brooking Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program. “There is a shared cultural identity with Black Americans and that goes through our shared experiences. That also goes to the lack of geographic history as a result of slavery.”

The Seattle Times and Boston Globe both changed their practices to capitalize Black late last year. The Globe explained that the word has evolved from a description of a person’s skin color to signify a race and culture, and deserves the uppercase treatment much the way other ethnic terms do.

Lanham, who spearheaded an internal process to capitalize Black at Brookings last year, said he expects AP’s shift will lead many other news organizations and other groups to make a similar change.

“Knowing how closely their Stylebook is viewed as the Bible for journalism, this is now the big domino to fall,” he said.

apnews.com/71386b46dbff8190e71493a763e8f45a
 

PghPanther

Veteran Member
The Associated Press last week revised its style manual, saying "Black," not "black" is the preferred term. The AP hasn't decided yet whether we whites will become White. Here's the entire story.

The Associated Press changed its writing style guide Friday to capitalize the “b” in the term Black when referring to people in a racial, ethnic or cultural context, weighing in on a hotly debated issue.

The change conveys “an essential and shared sense of history, identity and community among people who identify as Black, including those in the African diaspora and within Africa,” John Daniszewski, AP’s vice president of standards, said in a blog post Friday. “The lowercase black is a color, not a person.”

The news organization will also now capitalize Indigenous in reference to original inhabitants of a place.

Daniszewski said the revisions aligned with long-standing identifiers such as Latino, Asian American and Native American. He said the decision followed more than two years of research and debate among AP journalists and outside groups and thinkers.

“Our discussions on style and language consider many points, including the need to be inclusive and respectful in our storytelling and the evolution of language,” he wrote. “We believe this change serves those ends.”

The AP said it expects to make a decision within a month on whether to capitalize the term white. Among the considerations are what that change might mean outside the United States.

An ongoing debate over capitalization of Black accelerated in many U.S. newsrooms in recent weeks as journalists grappled with massive protests and sweeping changes in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death at the hands of police.

The Los Angeles Times, USA Today and NBC News last week embraced capitalization, and the National Association of Black Journalists urged other news organizations to follow.

The AP Stylebook of usage policies is highly influential in the industry, with many news organizations, government and public relations agencies using it as a guide.

The death of Floyd, a Black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee to his neck, sparked nationwide protests and lent momentum to a variety of social changes, from police reform and the public removal of Confederate statues and flags to the capitalization of Black.

“It’s certainly long overdue,” said Doris Truong, director of training and diversity at the Poynter Institute, a journalism think tank. “It’s something that people who are Black have been calling for for a long time.”

It’s also a relatively simple step for news organizations dealing anew with many complex issues, such as whether their journalists can be opinionated on social media or march in Black Lives Matter demonstrations.

Nearly a century ago, sociologist W.E.B. DuBois waged a letter-writing campaign to get newspapers to capitalize Negro, saying a lowercase “n” was a sign of disrespect and racism. The New York Times took his advice in 1930, calling it an act of recognition and respect for those who’d spent generations in “the lower case.”

Negro fell out of fashion with the Black Power movement of the 1960s, coming to symbolize subservience. African American was often used, but is not always accurate — some Black people don’t trace their lineage to Africa.

One Black communications professional who published an open letter to the AP earlier this week calling for the capitalization said Friday he was pleased that the change happened on Juneteenth, which commemorates when the last enslaved African Americans learned they were free 155 years ago.

“Not having a capital letter has felt disrespectful,” said David Lanham, director of communications for the Brooking Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program. “There is a shared cultural identity with Black Americans and that goes through our shared experiences. That also goes to the lack of geographic history as a result of slavery.”

The Seattle Times and Boston Globe both changed their practices to capitalize Black late last year. The Globe explained that the word has evolved from a description of a person’s skin color to signify a race and culture, and deserves the uppercase treatment much the way other ethnic terms do.

Lanham, who spearheaded an internal process to capitalize Black at Brookings last year, said he expects AP’s shift will lead many other news organizations and other groups to make a similar change.

“Knowing how closely their Stylebook is viewed as the Bible for journalism, this is now the big domino to fall,” he said.

apnews.com/71386b46dbff8190e71493a763e8f45a

My own protocol in this area when referring to a people or race by a name such as black or brown, white etc. then I capitalize the first letter of that word.......since it is really a proper noun referring to a person or people like a name would be capitalized............and if I use those words for reference to anything else other than humans its not capitalized unless it starts a sentence.
 

Texas Writer

Veteran Member
The AP Style Book was created to provide uniformity for ease of reading, whether you're reading a newspaper in Oregon or one in Florida. Alll newspapers, for example, will use "all right," "not alright." The style book says the word is "judgment," not "judgement." The book is in alphabetical order an addresses many, many usages. It also notes that in almost every instance, punctuation goes inside quote marks, much as I did above. It also says that the word "whether" need not be followed by "not," since "not" is understood. Just a few examples.

That said, the Associated Press has turned into a dishonest, biased organization that is promoting the leftist agenda. While I loathe it as an organization, my job as an editor is to make reading a story as easy as possible, and the style book rules make that possible. Their bias has nothing to do with spelling, punctuation, capitalization or usage.
 

Dennis Olson

Chief Curmudgeon
_______________
While I loathe it as an organization, my job as an editor is to make reading a story as easy as possible, and the style book rules make that possible.
That is absolute bullsh*t and a copout. Is it that your grasp of English grammar and syntax is so poor that you need to be “told”? I didn’t think so. Is it that your readers are borderline illiterate and this is the only way you can make sure they can understand? I didn’t think so.

So what’s your rationale again?

Nothing valid. Habit making you a word slave. Got it.
 

Texas Writer

Veteran Member
The AP Style Book was created to provide uniformity for ease of reading, whether you're reading a newspaper in Oregon or one in Florida. Alll newspapers, for example, will use "all right," "not alright." The style book says the word is "judgment," not "judgement." The book is in alphabetical order an addresses many, many usages. It also notes that in almost every instance, punctuation goes inside quote marks, much as I did above. It also says that the word "whether" need not be followed by "not," since "not" is understood. Just a few examples.

That said, the Associated Press has turned into a dishonest, biased organization that is promoting the leftist agenda. While I loathe it as an organization, my job as an editor is to make reading a story as easy as possible, and the style book rules make that possible. Their bias has nothing to do with spelling, punctuation, capitalization or usage.
That is absolute bullsh*t and a copout. Is it that your grasp of English grammar and syntax is so poor that you need to be “told”? I didn’t think so. Is it that your readers are borderline illiterate and this is the only way you can make sure they can understand? I didn’t think so.

So what’s your rationale again?

Nothing valid. Habit making you a word slave. Got it.
When I presume to tell you how the IT field works, you can apprise me of how the newspaper industry works. Are you telling me there are no guidelines or rules for your career choice? I doubt it. You know damn good and well - better than anyone here - that I have no problems with grammar and syntax. By the way, I had you in mind when I noted that most punctuation marks go inside quotes.
 

Dennis Olson

Chief Curmudgeon
_______________
When I presume to tell you how the IT field works, you can apprise me of how the newspaper industry works. Are you telling me there are no guidelines or rules for your career choice? I doubt it. You know damn good and well - better than anyone here - that I have no problems with grammar and syntax. By the way, I had you in mind when I noted that most punctuation marks go inside quotes.
“How it works?” YOU OWN THE FREAKIN NEWSPAPER. It works however YOU SAY IT DOES. Good God man, is there an AP cop sitting next to you as you write? Are you going to get dragged off to the gulags if you dare to disobey? If I owned a company, things would go as I say, regardless. Sheesh.

And I KNOW about where the punctuation goes vis-a-vis quotes. I just no longer care (at least some of the time.)
 

Texas Writer

Veteran Member
“How it works?” YOU OWN THE FREAKIN NEWSPAPER. It works however YOU SAY IT DOES. Good God man, is there an AP cop sitting next to you as you write? Are you going to get dragged off to the gulags if you dare to disobey? If I owned a company, things would go as I say, regardless. Sheesh.

And I KNOW about where the punctuation goes vis-a-vis quotes. I just no longer care (at least some of the time.)
As I noted before, my job as a writer or editor is to make the reading experience as easy as I can. Adhering to certain guidelines allows me to do that. If I were a doctor and owned a clinic, I wouldn't make up my own rules regarding patient care. One can say that about just any industry. If I were a teacher, I would follow the syllabus and the district's rules. Seesh, Dennis. Get a grip.

By the way, I notice you didn't respond to my belief that your job surely has rules and guidelines.
 

The Snack Artist

Veteran Member
Changing the b to a B is going to help race relations so much. I was wondering when they would finally do this! More virtue signalling by the people keeping blacks on their new plantation. When will black people wake the eff up!
 

Dennis Olson

Chief Curmudgeon
_______________
I notice you didn't respond to my belief that your job surely has rules and guidelines.
A lot more than your industry does. But we are free to not follow some if we can justify it. And the rules are always changing.

Here are just a few for you to look-up:

SOLID
6 Sigma
Agile
CI/CD
DevOps

Let me know when you’ve assimilated that information. I’ll wait.
 

Texas Writer

Veteran Member
A lot more than your industry does. But we are free to not follow some if we can justify it. And the rules are always changing.

Here are just a few for you to look-up:

SOLID
6 Sigma
Agile
CI/CD
DevOps

Let me know when you’ve assimilated that information. I’ll wait.
I should have heeded Mark Twain's advice about arguing with idiots. Look it up.
 

Dennis Olson

Chief Curmudgeon
_______________
I prefer this one:

Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

The only reason you’re so pissed is because you know I’m right but won’t admit it.
 
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