Procter & Gamble has launched a campaign in partnership with DoSomething.org challenging dictionaries to reword the definition for ‘black’ in a bid to remove any implied link between people of color and negative uses of the adjective.
The US FMCG giant’s #RedefineBlack campaign points out that dictionary definitions often favour negative associations tied to the word over its relation to culture and race.
“For over a decade, My Black Is Beautiful has inspired change by uplifting Blackness and through honest dialogue about bias. The Redefine Black movement tackles the negative associations with the word Black. Through our experience, we know words matter. Our goal is to continue to celebrate and elevate all that is beautiful about Black culture,” said Lela Coffey, Brand Director of Multicultural Beauty at Procter and Gamble.
“Language shapes the way we see and treat people, and can fuel real-world prejudice and bias,” said Carrie Bloxson, Chief Marketing Officer, DoSomething.org. “That’s why we’re so proud to partner with My Black is Beautiful on ‘Redefine Black’. By mobilizing young people around this issue, we can change perception and advocate for meaningful change, starting with the words we use.”
Dictionary.com has already pledged to amend its online definition, capitalising the term ‘Black’ where it refers to people and ensuring that it re-orders its definition so there is no ‘harmful’ proximity between different definitions of the same word, according to a report published by The Drum.