Ken Otterbourg’s post about race, reporting, and why there’s no National White Theatre Festival in the U.S.

August 13th, 2009

I used to work for the Winston-Salem Journal, and I still tune in every once in a while to the blog its managing editor Ken Otterbourg writes. Ken wrote about the newspaper’s coverage of the National Black Theatre Festival, and the feedback he gets from the town.

He wrote this paragraph, which handles gracefully the issue I see some people have difficulty with (most of whom are commenters on The Denver Post’s articles):

One of the issues is of course terminology, its the National BLACK Theatre Festival. And so one caller asked when we were going to cover the National WHITE Theatre Festival and wouldn’t people be up in arms if such an event existed. But of course, such events exist. They’re just not labeled as such. And we do cover them. The labeling along racial and ethnic lines is part of minority groups—racial, ethnic, religious—banding together to tell the majority that they exist. Majority groups don’t have to label. They’re implied.

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