Surprise, surprise. This question has become a source of controversy. Should you capitalize the word "black" when referring to those from the United States and elsewhere who are black? I would ignore this question. But it has become a politically-tinged issue. Plus, it comes up frequently when I teach college composition, and I am tasked with teaching my students correct capitalization, not just essay structure.
So....what's the answer?
What a columnist from
"The Punching Bag" has to say
Linguists and columnists are piling on. Larry Horist, for instance, writing in the online magazine, "The Punching Bag," on June 8, 2021 observed that..."referring to folks from nations in Africa as capitalized blacks,...not only denigrates we lowercase white folks...but also those politically designated as brown skinned."
That seems to me like pretty slick and far-fetched reasoning. I would be more convinced if the capitalized "B" in Black simply referred to American African-Americans. That would make more sense to me. But then I decided to take took a look at a recent edition of the journalist's Bible--the much revered AP Stylebook:
"There is a clear desire and reason to capitalize Black. Most notably, people who are Black have strong historical and cultural commonalities, even if they are from different parts of the world." --The Associated Press Style Book
Well, yes, I'll go along with the AP for now. But I can't help remembering my favorite young woman who worked for me as an intern many years ago. She was very petite, pretty and ebony-skinned. One day she mentioned that her grandmother used to say, "She was as American as apple pie." I agree. And because of that, I guess either way is fine with me, although I'll stick with the AP style for now with my students.
Good writing skills are a cornerstone of success in the academic world, and they are also a major plus in later life.