Dictionary.com realizes the word “Black” is responsible for describing the breadth of diasporic Africa while also referring to a color. And last week, the site announced a new initiative that will update the definition of the word the end of the year.
“[Words] are foundational to how individuals think about themselves, and they can influence the perceptions of others,” the site said in a statement.
After My Black Is Beautiful reached out to the site about its reclamation campaign to “Redefine Black,” the leading vocabulary site decided to be more intentional about how the word is currently defined.
The statement notes that definition of Black as an identity is the third sense listed on the page and sits above a definition that defines the word as “soiled or stained with dirt.”
Dictionary.com stated that having the two definitions in the proximity of each other is harmful and can lead to unconscious associations between the two.
The site will be swapping the latter two senses of the word so the first definition, which refers to identity, is not mistakenly connected to the other definitions.
In addition to the arrangement of definitions, Dictionary.com will be capitalizing the word Black every time it references people. Dictionary.com also said they when they update the definition, they will also be doing a full review of their use of the word.