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NABJ Style Guide C-D
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Cajun, Creole: Cajun is a native of Louisiana originally descended from the Acadian French immigrants. Creole is a person of European parentage born in the West Indies, Central America, tropical South America or the Gulf States.

civil-rights movement, Civil Rights Act: Often used to describe the struggles of black Americans between 1945-1970 to end discrimination and racial segregation. Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to guarantee basic civil rights for all Americans, regardless of race, after nearly a decade of nonviolent protests and marches, ranging from the 1955-1956 Montgomery bus boycott to the student-led sit-ins of the1960s to the March on Washington in 1963.

colored: An archaic term for black. In some African countries, colored denotes those of mixed racial ancestry. Do not use unless referring to official names, historical events or in quotes. (See African, African American, black.)

complexions: Black skin tones range from very light to very dark. Be sensitive when describing various shades of skin. Certain terms such as darkie, high-yellow, redbone, blue-black or tar baby, are considered offensive by some and should be avoided.

Congo: Do not use to refer to the Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly called Zaire. It is sometimes called Congo-Kinshasa, after its capital, to distinguish it from the Republic of Congo, or Congo-Brazzaville. The name of the river is still Congo River, even though inhabitants of the former Zaire call it the Zaire.

Congress of Racial Equality (CORE): Civil-rights organization founded in 1942 as the Committee of Racial Equality by an interracial group of students in Chicago. Influenced by Mahatma Gandhi's teachings of nonviolent resistance, the group sought to better race relations and end discrimination.


dark continent: Avoid using as a description for Africa. Considered offensive.

Deep South: Southeastern part of America. Uppercase when referring to the region that consists of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina.

dialect: Language forms, particularly oddities of pronunciation and syntax, that are peculiar to a region or a group. Avoid using dialect if it renders the speaker as ignorant or makes the person a subject of ridicule, even in quoted material. In rare stories, use of dialect may be approved as bringing a sense of atmosphere that could not otherwise be achieved. Such approval should come from the department-head level. Obviously, further exception is made when dialect itself is news, such as in a story in which it is pertinent to the identification of a crime suspect. If dialect is to be used, words are spelled phonetically and apostrophes indicate missing sounds. Be accurate and avoid exaggeration.

diversity: Catchall term to describe a condition or environment that is multiracial and multicultural; being representative or reflective of the multiethnic society. Diversity is not synonymous with affirmative action, is not limited to race and is not government-mandated. A company can have a diverse staff mixing races, ages, sexes, sexual orientation, etc.

dominoes: Popular game in the black community played by two or more people using 28 flat oblong shape pieces, which are plain at the back, but on the face are divided by a line in the middle, and either left blank or dotted like a dice. Players must match the dots or the blank of an unmatched half of a domino already played.

double Dutch: Popular black children's jump rope game in which two turners swing two ropes simultaneously in a crisscross pattern for the person jumping.

down low, DL: Slang for men who have sex with other men but do not classify themselves as gay or bisexual. These men have relationships with women but also have sex with men secretly. If acronym is used in quotes or copy, define what it means.

dozens, the: Form of verbal play in which participants exchange taunts and insults.

driving while black, DWB: Phrase or acronym describing racial profiling of black motorists by police, especially when while driving expensive cars or in upscale neighborhoods without reason. If used in quotes or copy, define what it means.

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