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Associated Press changes stylebook to capitalize Black

Photo by Robert Chappell

The Associated Press Stylebook, which is the standard for newsrooms nationwide on questions ranging from use of commas to how to abbreviate state names to how to spell “theater,” will now call for Black to be capitalized “when referring to people in a racial, ethnic or cultural context.”

Madison365 follows Associated Press style in most instances, but has capitalized Black for several years.

“These changes align with long-standing capitalization of other racial and ethnic identifiers such as Latino, Asian American and Native American,” AP vice president of standards John Daniszewski wrote in a blog post Friday. “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. We believe this change serves those ends.”

Daniszewski said the change comes after two years of study and discussion. Several other news outlets made the change earlier this month, including The Los Angeles Times, WisconsinWatch, USA Today and NBC News. The National Association of Black Journalists has urged others to adopt the practice.

The AP also said it would begin capitalizing Indigenous to refer to people native to a place.