Learn English – Are “white” and “black” ever capitalized when referring to people


What is the accepted custom regarding capitalization when it comes to "White" and "Black" when referring to race, whether they are being used as nouns or adjectives?

Best Answer

According to CMS, when referring to racial categories, use whites or white people, blacks or black people, both of which are written in lower case.

Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, 8.39, p. 402.

However, according to APA, racial and ethnic groups are designated by proper nouns and are capitalized: Black and White.

APA Publication Manual, 6th edition, 3.14, p. 75.

Therefore, follow the style guide used in whatever discipline or genre you are writing.