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I haven’t always capitalized the ‘W’ in my own writing, but I do now

A photo illustration that has “Black” with three lines under B, and “White” with three lines under W, for capitalization.
A photo illustration that has “Black” with three lines under B, and “White” with three lines under W, for capitalization.

In recent days, multiple well-respected journalistic outlets have announced to much fanfare that, having reflected on the rapidly shifting American racial landscape, they will be capitalizing “Black” as designations for people and cultures. Some have also clarified why they’re not capitalizing “white.”

“Black is an ethnic designation; white merely describes the skin color of people who can, usually without much difficulty, trace their ethnic origins back to a handful of European countries,” wrote Mike Laws in the Columbia Journalism Review on June 16, before the article was updated with revised language. …

About

Eve L. Ewing

Sociologist of race & education at the University of Chicago. Author of 1919, Ghosts in the Schoolyard, Electric Arches, and a bunch of Marvel comics.

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