Merriam-Webster dictionary to change its definition of racism

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Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary and mobile website.
Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary and mobile website.
Photo:Joanne K. Watson/Merriam-Webster/Getty

The American reference dictionary Merriam-Webster will change its definition of the word racism at the suggestion of a young black woman, who wanted it to better reflect the oppression of people of colour.

Kennedy Mitchum, a recent graduate of Drake University in Iowa, contacted Merriam-Webster, which has published its dictionaries since 1847, to propose updating the term.

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