Hi Catalina. Interesting OTP today. I think you mean Malcolm X, since he taught himself to read in prison by copying out every single page of the dictionary, which is mentioned in this extract from his autobiography: http://accounts.smccd.edu/bellr/readerlearningtoread.htm
“…when white men had written history books, the black man simply had been left out…”
Interesting, too, that the New York Times house style is to capitalize ‘Black’ but there is no concomitant capitalization of ‘white’ when referring to people of that colour.
Back in the 1980s, during Shit Job #66 or #67, I worked in an art supply store, the famous Winsor & Newton, who sold a tube of paint called ‘flesh tint’ – it was pink; my Polynesian workmate (a talented artist) pointed out that she did not have pink skin…And it’s only in recent years that band-aids don’t all come in one colour, also an imaginary ‘flesh tint’ that catered only to whites/Whites.
I might take this opportunity to recommend a TV show: in Godfather of Harlem, Nigel Thatch acts everybody off the screen (even Forest Whitaker) giving a mesmerizing performance as Malcolm X (while still under the influence of Elijah Muhammad); Thatch also played X in ‘Selma’ (2014).
I also enjoy Barbara’s podcast!
Personally I don’t capitalize “white” because it looks like something supremacists would do, and because “white people” are too diverse to have a single culture or identity, in my opinion.
I don’t capitalize it either but I think Black people are also ‘too diverse to have a single culture or identity’.
I don’t cap “white” as in people but I do cap Black.
My podcast, Writers on Writing, is wherever you get your podcasts. You can also find it on my website, http://www.penonfire.com under “podcasts.”
What’s new with your writing, Richard Polt?
Unrelated: Just finished the last episode of Lost In Space. Penny Robinson writing in her journal with a Blackwing 602. Something’s are timeless.
Thanks to Leo, Richard P and Barbara. I have adjusted to using the capital “B” in Black not just because the style guides have come to dictate it, but because I like the concept of the “Black is beautiful” thinking from the 1960’s and the Black Panther era. These racial terms are all referential. I have come to recognize that Black has developed over time, with a history of baggage from the N word, “Colored,” “negro,” “Negro,” to “black” and “African American” and then to “Black.” This is how we refer to people(s). But it can also be how a person refers to themself – as their identity. For example, I often identify myself as “Brown” which allows me to relate and interact with many different communities and cultures as an American as a source of pride. But, the concept of race is rather arbitrary –such as my typed birth certificate that refers to my race as “Filipino.” I really bristle when I am referred to as a “minority.” Why do we use the capital “B” in “Black?” There are several neat articles on this subject:
Columbia Journalism Reveiw:
Thanks, Catalina, for the link to the article, which I’ve just read.