Vol. 68 No. 3 (2020)

Black Rising: An Editorial Note on the Increasing Popularity of a US American Racial Ethnonym

Published 2020-07-02


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In historic protests sparked by the wrongful deaths of US civilians, demonstrators have taken to the streets in record numbers demanding justice and an end to institutionalized racism. US media coverage of this movement has frequently utilized the racial ethnonym Black as opposed to African(-)American. As this note discusses, this choice in nomenclature may not only be due to the increasing prominence of the Black Lives Matter Movement. It may also be indicative of earlier, large-scale shifts in autonymy. This note presents some of the demographic, linguistic, and sociopolitical factors that may well have played a role in the rising use of Black as both an ethnoracial and political identifier.


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