Today, My Black Is Beautiful in partnership with DoSomething.org, launched the #RedefineBlack initiative to dismantle negative associations with the word “Black.” The movement challenges dictionaries to redefine the word’s meaning, which often delineates darkness and badness. Researchers call this the “Bad is Black” effect, which reportedly causes real-world racial prejudice.

“These associations can diminish the joy and magic within us all,” said Dr. Yaba Blay, professor at North Carolina Central University who specializes in Black racial and cultural identities.

“Words can make a powerful impact on how we feel, as well as influence how we are perceived, and how we perceive others,” notes Carrie Bloxon, Cheif Marketing Officer of DoSomething.org. “Language shapes the way we see and treat people, and [it] can fuel real-world bias. That’s why we are so proud to partner with My Black Is Beautiful on ‘Redefine Black'”.

The call to action comes as My Black Is Beautiful rededicates its ongoing mission: to spotlight all that is beautiful about Black beauty and culture, as well as transcend bias through promoting a more positive representation of Blackness. With Serena Williams topping Forbes list, and Jay-z becoming the first rapper to reach billionaire status this week, the movement couldn’t have come at a better time to paint a more accurate representation of Blackness. We also can’t forget to mention that Rihanna singlehandedly transcended diversity in the beauty industry proving that ‘Black’ isn’t a negative association; it’s the essence of a burgeoning culture.

For My Black Is Beautiful, #RedefineBlack is aimed at driving dialogue with a meaningful change, and the initiative is already making progress. Today, Dictionary.com has agreed to update their definition of ‘Black’ to raise awareness and challenge other dictionaries to follow suit.

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