As I read through various blog posts I was struck by the different points of view, even on the use of “diverse,” and "diversity.” For instance, Annie Schutte posted an interview with the Diversity Committee on the YALSA's The Hub blog and there were two comments:
- Hannah Gómez said: “We need to make a push to stop calling those books diverse books and multicultural books if want to emphasize that they are for everyone.”
- B.A Binns responded: “I have to disagree. The problem of discovery is difficult enough…We have to name them so we can find them.”
I started thinking about other terms. For instance, when is “African-American” correct? When might one use “black?”
My copyeditor said our usual choice is African American. No hyphen.
I spoke to a director in Human Resources, who said that the usage was a matter of “self-identity.” She would describe herself as African-American. But someone whose roots are not in Africa, who is from the Caribbean, perhaps, or Haiti, might not use that term.
Susan Guerrero, a staff editor at the New York Times, referred me to their style book:
"African-American, black. Try to determine and use the term preferred by the group or person being described. When no preference is known, the writer should choose. But use black when the reference is not only to people of African descent but also to those whose more immediate roots are in the Caribbean or South America. Use more specific terms — Nigerian-American; Jamaican-American — when they are appropriate. Also see ethnicity and historically black." The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage : The Official Style Guide Used by the Writers and Editors of the... by Allan M. Siegal and William G. Connolly (Jan 2, 2002)
I asked her how terms had evolved for journalists. And what about this: I’d say that Susan is Mexican-American. But which is correct: Mexican-American, Latina, Hispanic?
Well, you want to get the family arguing, trot this one out. Me, I don't like being a hyphenated American, but The New York Times insists upon the hyphen between Mexican and American. Not so long ago we were chicanos, which many in my family liked, although not my grandfather, but then he had tiraded against zoot suits and admired Barry Goldwater. But the use of chicano seems to have faded. Most of us (I'm just speaking for los primos), prefer Latino to Hispanic. I'd have to think about why; I guess because any relationship with Spain is in the distant conquistatorial past. Of course, my father always said he was a Mexican, although he, like his parents before him, had been born in the United States. But Uncle Fernando bridles at that; We're Americans!
Well, that simplified things.
She also said: