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Editorial: About our new style on race

Some readers have noticed a recent style change by The Christian Chronicle in our reporting on race.

The Chronicle has begun capitalizing “Black,” “White” and “Brown” when those terms are used in a racial, ethnic or cultural sense. This change follows a national conversation among journalists after the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.

The capitalization is in line with our style for other words used to describe racial and ethnic groups, such as Asian, Hispanic and Native American. It follows the recommendation of the National Association of Black Journalists.

In short, the new style recognizes Black not just as a color but as a culture. Some news media, including The Associated Press, chose to capitalize Black but not White. But in our view, we must capitalize all such terms to be consistent and promote equality.

Several readers have praised the change. But a few have criticized it, and we understand concerns about emphasizing differences.

Our practice of mentioning race only when it is relevant to a specific story remains unchanged. 

Filed under: Editorial Opinion Race Top Stories

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