Jun 25, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Why Axios now capitalizes Black

Part of Axios' ongoing conversation about inclusion is how we use language. This week, we began capitalizing Black when referring to people or communities who identify as Black.

There's a growing desire within Black communities to reflect Black culture, and acknowledge the fact that not all who identify as Black are from Africa or have descended from people from Africa.

  • We've also adopted AP's recommendation to uppercase Indigenous when referring to people who were the original inhabitants of a place.

Our change is based partly on guidance from AP, which adopted the capitalization as its official style last week, and the National Association of Black Journalists

  • AP's John Daniszewski, vice president for standards, wrote that 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. The lowercase black is a color, not a person."

🎧 Axios executive editor Sara Kehaulani Goo told host Niala Boodhoo on our new podcast, "Axios Today":

  • "I'm Native Hawaiian. I'm Asian American ... Those are capitalized. So's Hispanic. So's Latino."
  • "So at some point, you realize that we're not consistent in how we refer to different communities of people and their identities. It conveys respect, and I think that's why it matters."

What's next: AP said it expects to decide within a month whether to capitalize "white."

  • Among the considerations: what the change might mean outside the U.S.
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