I have degrees in three majors and am working on my JD, so my grammar skills have been tested a few times, but I'm not a journalist. I expected there to be tweaks made to my letter to the editor last week about my challenge to the school board. What I did not expect is for the editor to make the deliberate decision to change the capital "B" in every reference to Black people to a lowercase "b."
I gave him a call. He explained that while the newspaper follows the AP writing style, which was recently amended to include capitalization of the "B" in Black to reflect the identity and history beyond a color, they still have autonomy in some of their writing style choices. I find it interesting that this autonomy was exercised on this guideline. Something tells me the guidelines for commas weren't up in the air for consideration. He informed me that he would have a meeting about how to handle the matter in the future.
What will speed up that meeting — the one where we all discuss how we have failed to acknowledge, validate, and advocate for Black people and the Black experience? Where was the "meeting" before the county superintendent's plagiarism of the work of a Black woman was published? Did the editor consult BIPOC coworkers before changing the letter and heading home for the day? Is The Times Leader really leading the times if they're going on three weeks behind the Associated Press?