threads DONATE

Why You Should Capitalize the B in Black

An identity. A culture. A history. A community. 

The Black diaspora is thriving and diverse in many ways, and the language that we use should reflect that. Language matters. 

For decades, activists have pushed for the recognition of humanity in Black people and their experiences. A seemingly “easy” first step would simply be to capitalize the B in Black when referring to a human being or a community of people. Yet, this change was met after what seemed like pulling teeth from many renowned institutions across the country. It wasn’t until June of 2020 that the Associated Press Stylebook changed its usage rules surrounding the word Black, and many organizations followed suit. 


why does this matter?

Not everyone identifies as African-American and it’s inappropriate to suggest otherwise. 

“Black” is more inclusive to people and migrants from nations whose ancestors may have come from Africa centuries ago, such as Haiti, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic. 

According to George M. Johnson of MIC, “this recalibration of letters is an act of freedom, authenticity, and emotional preservation.”


who does this impact?

However, we need to also be aware of all Black identities, because Black people are anything but a monolith. Some of these identities might include: 

  • Afro-Latine
  • Afro-Indigenous
  • Afro-Asian


stand up for diversity and inclusion

Public Allies is dedicated to disrupting systems that impact marginalized communities, while listening, learning, and working across differences to build the common good. Join us.