You probably don’t know this, but Colorlines has been around in one form or another for 26 years. We started in 1989 as a quarterly journal printed on actual paper and mailed in envelopes with stamps. In 1998, due to popular demand, we evolved into a bimonthly print magazine that folks could get on select newsstands and in their mailboxes. In 2010, Colorlines went online-only, which meant lots more content and no more paper, printing or postage.
Long story shorter, Colorlines was a pioneer. When we started, mainstream and commercial media outlets weren’t creating race and identity beats. It wasn’t popular to talk about how overwhelmingly White, male, cisgender, heterosexual and upper-middle class journalism is. Hell, you couldn’t even whisper the word ”racism” without someone accusing you of being frozen in history. Now, plenty of news and opinion outlets are trying to use the looking glass of systemic racism. Thanks to you—our loyal readers—Colorlines continues to be a relevant, grassroots-driven, non-corporatized source.
We are making two big changes, though.
First, we’re overhauling how we look. The half-million unique visitors we get every month deserve more beauty and our new readers need a reason to stay awhile. So no more downer gray, boxy black and threat-level red. We’re introducing better search and navigation, too.
Second, starting today we are breaking with Associated Press style and capitalizing “Black” and “White” when we’re talking race. This is both a political decision and one of clarity. It’s us climbing out of the crayon box and acknowledging factors such as the “one-drop” rule, the Whitening of some European immigrants, and the mashup culture of people from African and European diasporas in America.*
Colorlines and our parent organization, Race Forward, are pretty proud of where we’ve been and excited about where we’re going. As always, we thank you for reading, posting and emailing our work. Thank you for the praise, disagreements and corrections. And thank you for donating a few dollars to ensure that we have another 26 years. May you have peace + power + joy. —Akiba Solomon, Colorlines Editorial Director
*For more on capping Black and White, read historian Robin D.G. Kelley here, journalist Lori L. Tharps here and the Race Reporting Guide developed by our parent organization and publisher, Race Forward.