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A week after NBC News announced it was capitalizing the 'B' when referring to Black people, CNN announced it would also capitalize the 'B' in reference to Black people and capitalize the 'W' for whites.
CNN announced its decision after viewers called them out for referring to Black people with a lower case 'b' on their website.
"When referring to the racial categories of Black and White, CNN style is changing to capitalizing both words," wrote Tim Langmaid, vice president and senior editorial director, in an evening email to staffers.
"Both words denote a racial or ethnic identity and therefore should be upper case when referring to a person, community, culture, etc., in the same way CNN capitalizes other descriptors of race, ethnicity and shared identity, including African American, Native American, Hispanic or Latino, Asian, Asian American, African, and other terms," he explained.
Blogs such as Sandrarose.com have always capitalized the 'B', but mainstream news outlets began adjusting their reporting style amid racial tensions following the deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Breonna Taylor in Louisville, and Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta, at the hands of police.
NBC News on Friday announced it was capitalizing the 'B' when referring to Black people across all of the networks' platforms.
NBC News is adjusting its reporting style amid racial tensions following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.
Floyd, 46, died when a white officer knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes. His brutal death sparked protests across the country.
NBC joins BuzzFeed News, MSNBC, the LA Times, and USA Today who changed their style guides to capitalize "Black" when referring to Black people.
Capitalizing the 'B' for Black people has been debated by Black scholars over the years, but the debate was never taken seriously by the mainstream media.
Lori L. Tharps, of Temple University, made the case that "when speaking of a culture, ethnicity or group of people, the name should be capitalized."
In 2015, Tharps wrote an op-ed for The New York Times: "The Case for Black with a Capital B."
The Huffington Post wrote:
"I congratulate her for opening a conversation that is long overdue, a conversation that goes to the heart of how a large group of Americans with the most difficult of histories has struggled to express itself and gain greater agency in American society."
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