Note on capitalization of racial categories.

I admire Ali Michael’s reasoning in Raising Race Questions: Whiteness & Inquiry in Education (Teachers College Press, 2015, p. 17):

I capitalize most racial categories to acknowledge them as political categories rather than mere descriptors (i.e., “White” people are not literally the color white; “White” is a political category). I do not capitalize the term “people of color” because it is a broad category encompassing many groups. I have seen the term “people of color” used to refer specifically to Black people. When I use the term “people of color,” I am referring to any people who do not identify as White in the United States. I use all these terms imperfectly, knowing that racial categories are not discrete and that most people are multiracial even if they do not identify that way. For all these reasons—and many more—my children’s generation will question what’s written here. And yet I move forward knowing that if I waited until the verbiage was perfect, these ideas would never see the light of day.

Peter Horn