babys mama, babys daddy: Slang to imply parenthood out of wedlock. Avoid usage.
Baptist church: Black people were
allowed to join the Baptist fold starting in the 1770s. Slave preachers
were instituted to minister to slaves on plantations in the South while
black people in the North slowly became members of congregations. Black
Baptists continued to organize their own congregations and associations
throughout the 19th century. Today, there are more than 20 Baptist
bodies in America. The largest, the Southern Baptist Convention, has 12
million members, mostly in the South, although it has churches in all 50
states. The largest Northern body is the American Baptist Church in the
U.S.A., with about 1.5 million members. Blacks predominate in three
large Baptist bodies, the National Baptist Convention of America,
National Baptist Convention U.S.A. Inc., and Progressive National
Baptist Convention Inc. Baptist clergy members may be referred to as
ministers. Pastor applies if a minister leads a congregation. On first
reference, use the Rev. before the persons name. On second reference,
use the persons last name.
bias, discrimination: Bias is a
state of mind, a prepossession or prejudice toward an object, person or
view. Discrimination is an action that springs from that state of mind;
the unfair treatment of a person or group based on prejudice or bias.
Discrimination and bias may be for or against something. For example,
one may be biased in favor of left-handed reporters and one may practice
discrimination in their favor. The two terms are not interchangeable,
even for the sake of a good headline count.
Bid whist: A card game popular
among blacks. Played with a standard 52-card deck plus two jokers, for a
total of 54 cards. The two jokers must be distinct: one is called the
big joker, the other the little joker. There are two two-player teams
with each partner sitting opposite the other. The games object is to
score seven points, or force the other team to go minus seven. Bidding
for and winning tricks, also called books, score points.
biracial: Combination of two
races. May be used to describe people or things. Not all biracial
individuals self-identify in this manner. Do not used mixed as an
black: See African, African American.
Black Church: Collective noun that
refers to the more than 65,000 Christian churches that have a
predominance of black members and clerical leadership. The Black Church
has served as a major institutional foundation in the black community.
It generally refers to Protestants, who themselves represent a variety
of denominations and sects. It does not generally encompass Catholics,
Muslims or others. In some cases the term black churches may be more
accurate, but also be mindful that many blacks worldwide belong to
churches and to denominations that may not be predominantly black.
black collectibles: Objects and
memorabilia created by or about African-American culture, usually
acquired as a hobby. Some items are seen as perpetuating stereotypes.
Black Codes: Statutes curtailing
rights of African Americans during early years of Reconstruction and
instituted by Southern legislative bodies in 1865 and 1866. Also known
as Negro Codes, the statutes aimed to restore the political powers and
economic structure of slavery by, for example, forbidding blacks from
owning or renting farmland. (See Landmark court decisions,
Black Diaspora: Black people of
African descent who are scattered throughout the world; refers to blacks
whose ancestors were removed from the African continent through slavery
and colonization, and dispersed worldwide.
Black Greek letter organizations:
|Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. -
Founded Jan. 15, 1908, at Howard University in Washington, by nine
students as the first intercollegiate Greek-letter organization
established by black women. May use AKAs on second reference.
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. -
Founded Dec. 4, 1906, at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., by seven
college men as the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity
established for African Americans. May use Alphas on second reference.
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. - Founded Jan. 13, 1913, at Howard University in Washington by 22 black college women. May use Deltas on second reference.
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. - Founded Jan. 5, 1911, at Indiana University at Bloomington by 10 black college men. May use Kappas on second reference.
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. -
Founded Nov. 17, 1911, at Howard University in Washington by three black
college men assisted by their faculty adviser. May use Omegas on second
reference. Informally known as Ques or Q-Dogs.
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. - Founded Jan. 9, 1914, at Howard University in Washington by three college black men. May use Sigmas on second reference.
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. -
Founded Nov. 12, 1922, in Indianapolis by seven schoolteachers. The
group became an incorporated national collegiate sorority on Dec. 30,
1929, when a charter was granted to Alpha chapter at Butler University
in the same city. May use Sigma women on second reference.
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. - Founded Jan. 16, 1920, at Howard University in Washington by five black college students. May use Zetas on second reference.
Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Inc. -
Founded Sept. 19, 1963, at Morgan State College (now Morgan State
University) in Baltimore by 12 black college students. May use Iotas on
black leader: Avoid using the
term. It implies that one person is the spokesperson for all black
people. When referring to a local black person in a leadership position,
state the organization that he or she belongs to.
Black national anthem: Lift Evry Voice and Sing, also commonly known as the Negro national anthem, was composed by James Weldon Johnson in 1900.
black Muslim: Archaic term to describe members of the American Muslim Mission. Muslim is sufficient.
bling-bling: Slang for wealth, big jewels and success associated with hip-hop culture. Note hyphenation.
boy, girl: Use boy to describe a
male person who is 17 or younger. From 13 to 17, youth, teenager or
teen also may be used. Man is preferable for someone 18 and older. Avoid
calling someone a young man or young lady in news copy; it is vague and
implies judgment. Avoid names such as old boy or old girl, too. A girl
may be 17 or younger, but from age 13 through 17, teenager or teen is
also suitable. At 18, she can be referred to as a woman. Do not refer to
black adults as boys or girls.
brim: Slang for hat.
brother, brotha, bro: When not
referring to a family relationship, brotha or bro is used as slang for
brother, an affectionate term or greeting for a male person. Be mindful
of appropriateness in news copy. May use in quotes.
buck: Archaic derogatory term
for a healthy, strong black male during slavery times. Slave owners
would breed their bucks with young female slaves to produce superior
slaves. Do not use to describe a person.
buppie: Young, black upwardly
mobile urban professional. Mirrors the term yuppies coined for white
professional persons under 40 who prospered during the 1980s. Avoid use
in news copy because it is vague and outdated.