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The Souls of White FolkAfrican American Writers Theorize Whiteness$

Veronica T. Watson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781617038891

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617038891.001.0001

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(p.ix) A Note on Capitalization

(p.ix) A Note on Capitalization

Source:
The Souls of White Folk
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi

Conventions governing the capitalization of racial identifiers are currently in flux. Some prefer a uniform approach of capitalizing terms referring to racial groups, such as African American, Black, Latino, or Asian American. Pseudoscientific classifications like Caucasian and Anglo-American are typically included in this practice, but more commonly used terms like “white” or “white American” are still generally not capitalized. Others adopt an all-or-nothing approach.

Although I recognize that “race” is socially constructed, for this book I have opted to capitalize racial identifiers only when I am seeking to call attention to the highly constructed, highly performative nature of “race.” Using this guideline, I have not capitalized racial identifiers when they are used as adjectives or simply to refer to a group of people typically identified by that term, as in the “literature of white estrangement,” “black American,” or “white.” My use of capitalization when I discuss White violence, Whiteness, or Blackness, on the other hand, is meant to emphasize the choice that groups of people are making about how to understand and actualize (perform) their racial identities. (p.x)