On June 19, 2020, the Associated Press announced that “Black” and "Indigenous” are the new norms when referring to people of African descent and the original inhabitants of a specific place, respectively.
2020 has been called “unprecedented,” which we can all agree is a polite euphemism for the less-polite expletives that we’re all privately thinking. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a gut-punch to life as we knew it. The senseless killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and others were on full display. And rather than finding time to connect with friends and family in the physical realm, many of us are grieving the loss of loved ones due to coronavirus.
Encouragingly, there have been some bright spots. If I haven’t said it before, let me say it now – we have some really amazing partners and clients! On a broader level, I’ve been encouraged by the collective awakening concerning racial discrimination. Even the keepers of good grammar at the Associated Press have joined the cause.
On June 19 (known among African Americans as Juneteenth), the Associated Press announced that “black people” are now officially “Black people.” There’s more: “indigenous people” are now “Indigenous,” when referring to the original inhabitants of a specific place.
The AP writes, “These changes align with long-standing capitalization of other racial and ethnic identifiers such as Latino, Asian American and Native American. 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.”
Thank you, AP – we can all use a bit more inclusivity and respect in our lives!