Black / black

takashimiike

Senior Member
italian
Buongiorno a tutti.

Nel libro che sto traducendo, l'autrice parla del primo ospedale psichiatrico del Texas (il Texas State Lunatic Asylum). Tra i suoi numerosi pazienti, c'erano diversi uomini di colore, ricoverati in un reparto diverso da quello riservato ai bianchi. Parlando dei primi, scrive:

"All of them [the patients] in Black pants and button-down shirts".

L'aggettivo "black" con l'iniziale maiuscola mi spinge a pensare che non siano "semplici" panataloni neri.

PS: siamo negli anni Quaranta del XX secolo.
 
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  • takashimiike

    Senior Member
    italian
    Capitalizing the B in Black people is a recent development. I can't see it making any sense in your context other than it being a typo.
    Sì, in effetti l'autrice scrive sempre Black people o Black man/woman... propendo anche io per il refuso. Grazie mille!
     
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    You little ripper!

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    I agree with rrose that it's a typo here. As for capitalising it in 'Black people':

    To B, or not to b? Why capitalize the 'B' in Black? | Matters of Fact

    In summer 2020, in response to the death of George Floyd and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, mainstream media did — virtually overnight — what it had resisted for decades. Henceforth, it was decreed by The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and many other media outlets (including this one), the adjective "black" would be capitalized. An historic Black neighborhood, not an historic black neighborhood.
     

    giginho

    Senior Member
    Italiano & Piemontese
    So, just to be sure to have undestood this correctly and to know how to write: will the "W" of white, for example, be capitalised as well?
     

    giginho

    Senior Member
    Italiano & Piemontese
    Thanks Charles. I think I'm too far away from this to properly understand, so I will abide by the grammatical rules you natives have decided.
     

    You little ripper!

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    Thanks Charles. I think I'm too far away from this to properly understand, so I will abide by the grammatical rules you natives have decided.
    I've read a few of those articles, gigi, but it seems there are no strict guidelines for capitalizing the 'w' for white people. Some are for it and some against it, so do what feels right for you. 🙂
     

    giginho

    Senior Member
    Italiano & Piemontese
    I've read what you've shared (thanks for that) and - as far as I was able to understand - it seems that if we capitalise only the B of Black and not the W of white, Black people would interpret it as "pulling the whites out of the context" assessing them as a standard.

    Now, this is getting far too complicated for my latin mind, so I will try to stay out these difficult choices!

    Anyway, thanks again Charles for your help!
     

    Sepia

    Senior Member
    High German/Danish
    Capitalizing the B in Black people is a recent development. I can't see it making any sense in your context other than it being a typo.

    Probably auto-"correct" again.

    I've read what you've shared (thanks for that) and - as far as I was able to understand - it seems that if we capitalise only the B of Black and not the W of white, Black people would interpret it as "pulling the whites out of the context" assessing them as a standard.

    Now, this is getting far too complicated for my latin mind, so I will try to stay out these difficult choices!

    Anyway, thanks again Charles for your help!


    Not quite how I learned it: Words that describe a group of people as a community, nationality, and the like should be capitalized. I know that many don't do that any more - probably because they don't understand the rule - but that at least used to be considered correct English.
    However, "Black people" would be questionable by that rule. However, it is also "the English, "the French", etc. That might be the argument. I certainly would not use neither capitalized "black" nor "white" ... because I don't consider our skin colours "supernationalities".
     

    Odysseus54

    Mod huc mod illuc
    Italian - Marche
    Not quite how I learned it: Words that describe a group of people as a community, nationality, and the like should be capitalized. I know that many don't do that any more - probably because they don't understand the rule - but that at least used to be considered correct English.
    However, "Black people" would be questionable by that rule. However, it is also "the English, "the French", etc. That might be the argument. I certainly would not use neither capitalized "black" nor "white" ... because I don't consider our skin colours "supernationalities".

    And that is understandable. In Europe you would (generally) perceive minorities, generally first or second generation immigrants, as 'Nigerian', 'Haitian', 'Kurdish', 'Ethiopian', 'Filipino' etc etc.

    In the US there is a fixation with 'race' that I believe has at its core categories that emerged through the slave trade and slavery and segregation and the very conflictual end of slavery and Reconstruction and desegregation and whatever residual conflict and affirmative cultures exist today. For 250 years, most Black people were either slaves or fugitives, and some white people owned them and chased them, and I guess that consolidated the 'skin color' category as more than a superficially descriptive term.

    From the US Census Bureau:

    The racial categories included in the census questionnaire generally reflect a social definition of race recognized in this country and not an attempt to define race biologically, anthropologically, or genetically. In addition, it is recognized that the categories of the race item include racial and national origin or sociocultural groups. People may choose to report more than one race to indicate their racial mixture, such as “American Indian” and “White.” People who identify their origin as Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish may be of any race.

    ...

    OMB (Office of Management and Budget) requires five minimum categories: White, Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander.


    As you can see, they are all capitalized. They are dealt with as names of nations or supranational groupings. Like European or Nordic or Slavic.
     

    Sepia

    Senior Member
    High German/Danish
    @In the US there is a fixation with 'race' that I believe has at its core categories that emerged through the slave trade and slavery and segregation and the very conflictual end of slavery and Reconstruction and desegregation and whatever residual conflict and affirmative cultures exist today.

    It may have to do with slave trade, but not only. Many open minded, less racist nations today, used to be deeply involved the slave trade at the time. Denmark is a good example.
     
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