Chicago Sun-Times announces it will now capitalize "b" in "black," will continue to lowercase "w" in "white"

by Adam Ford · Jun 16th, 2020 3:02 pm
31

The Chicago Sun-Times announced Monday that its journalists will begin capitalizing the letter "b" in "black" but will continue to lower case the "w" in "white."

The Sun-Times, which has the second-largest circulation of any paper in Chicago, explained that their "decision to capitalize Black is an acknowledgment of the longstanding inequities that have existed in our country, and the unique role that Black art and culture have played in our society."

The paper also justified instructing its journalists to continue to lowercase the "w" in "white" by saying, "Cultural trends among white people, e.g. Italian Americans, Irish Americans, etc., are much more disparate, which was a key factor in our decision not to capitalize white."

Full statement from the Sun-Times' executive editor:

To our readers:

On Monday, we joined the growing list of news organizations around the country that have opted to capitalize Black when using the word to describe a culture, ethnicity or community of people. We made this decision after engaging in dialogues with people inside and outside our newsroom and company, including readers and employees.

We also instructed our journalists that in the event the terms Black and Brown are used together to collectively describe a group, we will capitalize the "B" in both words, such as "Black and Brown communities."

Our decision puts Black on the same level as Hispanic, Latino, Asian, African American and other descriptors.

We also told our journalists to continue to lowercase the "w" in white.

Our decision to capitalize Black is an acknowledgment of the long-standing inequities that have existed in our country, and the unique role that Black art and culture have played in our society. Cultural trends among white people, e.g. Italian Americans, Irish Americans, etc., are much more disparate, which was a key factor in our decision not to capitalize white.

We're hopeful that you, our readers, will understand — and appreciate — this distinction.

Nykia Wright, CEO

Chris Fusco, Executive Editor


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