Covering Coronavirus: Tips, best practices and programs

Black? Black American? African American? Use this flow chart.

Erin Logan is an L.A. Times Reporter

As more journalists across the country actively cover race and racism in the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing, L.A. Times reporter Erin Logan created a guide on correctly identifying Black Americans.

“Accuracy in how we identify folks is paramount always but especially right now,” she tweeted. 

We reached out to Logan by email with questions about the guide, which she provided permission to republish.

What prompted you to create the guide?

Logan: The general lack of awareness on how to identify Black people was astounding. I made the graphic so reporters could stop using incorrect language to describe their sources and to move the needle on publications capitalizing the B in Black.

What has the response been since you shared?

Logan: From white journalists, shock. Many were shocked they were using the term “African American” incorrectly. 

What’s your advice for asking people how they want to be identified?

Logan: Really, just asking “how should I identify you?” This is a broad question that can unearth other assumptions one might take, like on gender-identity and sexual orientation. 

Do you anticipate AP Stylebook changing its recommendations for identifying Black Americans?

Logan: I hope so. It’s about damn time.