Now available: a guide towards anti-racist technical terminology

This summer, ACH issued a statement on Black Lives Matter, structural racism and the measures the organization intends to take in order to further its anti-racist goals. Among other actions, we committed ourselves to developing a guide to help DH centers, labs, developers, and other technologists be mindful of racially-charged technical terminology (slave/master, whitelist/blacklist, etc.) with practical steps for moving away from these terms.

We now share with you our guide towards anti-racist technical terminology, a living document which we will update over time as things change or new insights come to light, and a corresponding open bibliography.  For each of the problematic terms we included, we provide a brief overview of what the term means and why it’s a problem, practical steps for replacing the terminology, and links to learn more.

We encourage you to reach out with additional terms to add to the document, give us feedback, or contribute to our open bibliography. Please reach out to Rebecca Sutton Koeser (  or @suttonkoeser on Twitter) or with your suggestions and contributions.

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