If you have ever wondered why black people look the way they do, you may have noticed some common traits. The majority of black people are middle class, and this group is overrepresented in the news media. While this isn’t true for everyone, it does illustrate that the black population is still significantly underrepresented compared to the rest of the population. Despite these differences, blacks are still significantly outnumbered by whites, and the percentage of black people with incomes below the poverty line has risen.
One way to combat this problem is to capitalize black. While the word black may not be the correct term, it still evokes historical images of slaves and the African diaspora. Making black a proper noun erases the diversity of the black experience and gives legitimacy to the social construct that was designed to oppress black people. In addition, by capitalizing the word black, it denotes a specific group of people, shaped by colonialism. The issue is more complicated than just the use of the word black.
The concept of race has evolved over the years. In the 1960s, young Black activists began using the term “Black” as a way to distance themselves from the term “Negro,” which was largely a derogatory label. The phrase “African American” caught on in the US in the 1980s, and has since expanded to include other non-white groups. Eventually, the term “Black” became a verb, but it’s not as strong as “Black.”