Washington, D.C. (May 31, 2018) — The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is pleased to have contributed to changes appearing in the 2018 Associated Press (AP) Stylebook released on May 30 to help further advance fair coverage of blacks and other communities of color.
NABJ specifically requested the AP expand the use of the word “boy.” NABJ President Sarah Glover expressed her concern to AP editors over the negative overuse of that word to describe black males appearing in AP wire stories distributed to thousands of publishers worldwide.
Glover, along with NABJ Vice President-Print Marlon A. Walker, provided feedback and context about using the word when describing black males which could be perceived as demeaning due to the historical impact of slavery and racism.
“The AP Stylebook changes around use of the word, ‘boy,’ is significant work for NABJ,” Glover said. “Without the proper context, that word can have detrimental and racial overtones when used to describe black males, a demographic that is routinely robbed of fair representation in the media. NABJ looks forward to the change and the tone of how black males are depicted in future coverage.”
NABJ also gave its input to the updated AP Stylebook entries “biracial” and “multiracial,” which according to AP, are now acceptable terms when describing “people with more than one racial heritage.” NABJ will also provide counsel to AP on other race-related entries that may be considered in future stylebook updates.
These changes come as nearly two dozen cities nationwide will participate on Saturday, June 2 in NABJ’s second annual Black Male Media Project, created to change the narrative around the lives and images of African-American men in the news and society.
There will be plenty of panel discussions coast to coast. In some locations, there will be a job fair and intense barbershop conversations about the state of the black man. At Morgan State University in Baltimore, panelists including ESPN’s Around the Horn commentator Kevin Blackistone, The Undefeated Senior Writer Jerry Bembry, The Shadow League’s Editor-in-Chief Alejandro Danois and ex-NFL player and current teacher Aaron Maybin will tackle how sports can be used as a platform for change.
And in Los Angeles, a panel featuring Entertainment Studios CEO Byron Allen, “Access” correspondent Scott Evans, “Queer Eye” host Karamo Brown, comedian Lil Rel Howery and TMZ producer Van Lathan, will talk about images of black males in the media. It will be moderated by NABJ-LA Vice President and award-winning journalist Jarrett Hill.
NABJ is teaming up with the TEGNA Foundation and Procter & Gamble to host programs targeted to improve the coverage and employment prospects for black men in the media. Follow the hashtag #InspireBlackMen on social media.