*NBC News and MSNBC have joined the ranks of The Los Angeles Times, BuzzFeed and other publications that will now capitalize the “B” when referring to Black Americans.
In an open letter calling on The Associated Press to update its style guide, Sarah Glover, former president of the National Association for Black Journalists, said “the time has come for all news media to capitalize the B in Black.”
She added, “This book is the bible for working journalists and sets journalistic industry standards,” Glover wrote. “The AP has tremendous impact as a wire service with more than 1,000 subscribers worldwide.”
The move by several publications to adjust its reporting style comes amid protests over race relations and the police killing of George Floyd last month, Fox New reports.
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My open letter was a personal essay to the journalism industry and AP, following my work to change capital “B” in Black style at NBC. I’m not the current president of NABJ. My essay IDs me as the immediate past president. https://t.co/kv61skKyMI
— Sarah Glover (@sarah4nabj) June 13, 2020
Fox News confirmed last week that, “Effective immediately, NBC News and MSNBC will capitalize the ‘B’ in Black when referring to people or the community across all the networks’ platforms.”
“This step is a good first step to affirm the significance of being Black in America,” Glover wrote in her open letter. “This matters. It’s to bring humanity to a group of people who have experienced forms of oppression and discrimination since they first came to the United States 401 years ago as enslaved people. I ask for this change in honor of the Black Press, which already capitalizes the ‘B’ in Black, and in honor of the legacy of the 44 brave men and women who founded the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) in 1975.”
Per NBC News: “Effective immediately, NBC News and MSNBC will capitalize the ‘B’ in Black when referring to people or the community across all the networks’ platforms.”
— ErikWemple (@ErikWemple) June 12, 2020
In 2015, Lori L. Tharps, of Temple University, wrote an op-ed for The New York Times titled, “The Case for Black with a Capital B.”
She noted that “when speaking of a culture, ethnicity or group of people, the name should be capitalized.”
The Huffington Post responded with: “I congratulate her for opening a conversation that is long overdue, a conversation that goes to the heart of how a large group of Americans with the most difficult of histories has struggled to express itself and gain greater agency in American society.”