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To “B” or Not to “B”: On Capitalizing the Word “Black”

Last fall, I got some pushback from one of my dissertation readers on my capitalization of the word “Black,” with a marginal note along the lines of “Why are you capitalizing ‘Black’ and not ‘white’?”  I’m quite certain the reader in question was not championing the cause of “White Pride” or any similar cause, but was asking me for some scholarly justification for what may have seemed to be a stylistic eccentricity or inconsistency — house styles in major newspapers don’t capitalize “Black,” Chicago doesn’t recommend capitalizing “Black” (though, as I will explain shortly, the style guide allows it), and Read more