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Should We Capitalize “Black”? When Is It Capitalized?

Should We Capitalize “Black”? When Is It Capitalized?

How often have you come across the word “black” when reading? “Black” is a common word, and you have probably come across it several times capitalized and other times in lowercase. This can be confusing and leave you wondering, should we capitalize black?

Generally speaking, “black” is a color, and like all the other colors, it is a common noun. You should use lowercase when writing common nouns in sentences. Do not capitalize the first letter when writing “black” in sentences. But there are some exceptions to note.

Finding the word in uppercase can be confusing at times. Does it mean that all the writers who write “black” in uppercase are wrong? No, writing “black” in uppercase is not wrong. The word “black” is complex, and this article will discuss why “black” can be capitalized or not. That will help you better understand this word and its applications. Let’s get into it!

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Rules for Capitalizing “Black”

Though the general rule is to write it in lowercase letters, the grammar rules dictate that you should capitalize the word if it appears first in the sentence, in titles, when writing trademarks, and when referring to a group of people. 

That means “black” is broadly capitalized. With that in mind, let’s explain more about some of the times you should capitalize the word “black,” as mentioned above.

When Used as the First Word in a Sentence

One of the most straightforward capitalization rules is to capitalize the first letter of the first word each time you start a new sentence. This rule applies to all the words you will use when starting a sentence, including the word “black.”

Example sentences:

  • Black looks good on your walls.
  • Black is not something I would wear when going to a wedding.
  • Black birds flew across her house, which is why she got scared.

When Used in Titles

Are you writing a title with the word “black” on it? If so, then you should capitalize it. The English rule requires capitalizing all common or proper nouns each time they appear in a title. Therefore, if the word “black” is a part of a title, it goes without saying that you should capitalize it.

Example sentences:

  • Did you enjoy watching “The Black Stallion?”
  • If you enjoy reading crime fiction books, you will enjoy “The Black Dahlia.”
  • I have read many military books, but none has captivated me, like “Black Hawk Down.”

When Referring to a Group of People

When writing the word “black” to refer to a racial, ethnic, or cultural group, it is no longer a common noun. But, in this context, the word black is a proper noun. So, you need to capitalize it no matter where it appears in a sentence.

Example sentences:

  • The assignment was to review any books that discuss Black literature.
  • It is primitive how the new estate does not allow Black people to buy houses in that neighborhood in this time and age.
  • I enjoy watching Black films since they are more cultured.

When Used in Trademark Names

Does a trademark or a brand name you are writing have the word” black?” If yes, you need to capitalize it. The reason is that each time you use the word “black” in a brand name or trademark, it automatically becomes a proper noun. Thus, when writing sentences with such words, you should capitalize them.

Example sentences:

  • Did you buy that from Black Decker?
  • Try Black Studio Agency if you are searching for a creative agency to help you with your digital transformation.
  • I am waiting for Black Friday to get a new dishwasher.

Exceptions for Capitalizing “Black”

At times, the word” black” can mean something wicked that someone has done. As a writer, you might get confused if you capitalize the word in such an instance. You need to capitalize “black” in such cases. Simply put, if you use the term to mean something wicked, write the first letter of the word in lowercase.

Example sentences:

  • The queen was heartbroken when she heard about the black deeds of the king.
  • John’s stepmother got arrested due to the black deeds she did.
  • Karma will punish you for every black deed that you do.

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Some Edge Cases When Capitalizing “Black”

The two common edge cases: capitalize “black” when you write about events that include the word or when you refer to a particular place. Here’s more to that.

Related post: Do’s & Don’t: What To Capitalize In A Title?

When Writing About Events

If you are writing the word “black” to show an event that happened, then the first letter of the word “black” should be in capital letters no matter where you use it in a sentence.

Example sentences:

  • Will you be joining the Black History Walk this year?
  • We all enjoyed going for the Black Tour of London.
  • I cannot wait to be a part of the Dear Black Women group this year.

When Talking About a Place

If you use the word “black” to refer to a place, you should capitalize the first word. The reason is that a place is a proper noun, and like other proper nouns, you should capitalize it each time. This is the case regardless of where you use it in a sentence.

Example sentences:

  • I got invited to a party at Black Beach, but I am not sure if I will make it.
  • Is the Black City still known for producing oil?
  • There is a tiny village in the city known as Black Road; that is where you will find your son.

More like this: The List of Words Not Capitalized In Titles: A Style Guide

More Alternative Rules When Capitalizing “Black”

Most people don’t know this, but capitalization is a must when writing the last word in a title. That is the case even when the last word in the topic is “black.” 

The aim is to emphasize and let people know the difference between a topic and an ordinary sentence. You will notice this rule all the time whenever the word appears in titles of books, movies, songs, articles, or papers.

Example sentences:

  • I have never understood the song “Back to Black.”
  • My research topic was “Does Smoking Turn Your Lungs Black?”
  • I do not recommend you watch “The Woman in Black with kids.”

Example Sentences with the Correct Capitalization of “Black”

With the sensitive nature of the word “black,” a slight mistake could land you in trouble when writing the word. Here are a few correct sentences to learn from.

  1. Though the dress code was green, Mary had a black dress and did not seem to care.
  2. You will never see me with a black outfit during the summer since dark shades of clothing absorb light.
  3. This is the first time there is a Black student in their class.
  4. Susan knows that the tasks will be hard to handle, and that is why she tied her hair back with a black ribbon.
  5. I have never heard the song “It’s Your Turn to be Black.’
  6. Do you prefer black tea or black coffee?
  7. Everyone in the office liked Mr. Jones not because he was Black but because he was social and talented.
  8. Black clouds have been stagnant in the town for two days, and still, there is no sign of rain.
  9. The actress had to wear a black wig over her red hair.
  10. Everyone in the office has confirmed that they will be attending the Black Hill Camp.


The word black is one of the most commonly used words in English. Its general meaning is color and a deep meaning “race and evil feelings.” The word is also associated with something dark or bad. But no matter what you are writing “black” to mean, ensure that you have used proper capitalization. That is why you need to review this article to learn when to capitalize black and when you should not.

Additional reading: Is “With” Capitalized In A Title?