The Politics of Giving Your Child a Black Name | Political News and Opinion from a Multicultural Point of View

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Yesterday, New York City Department of Health revealed that the number one name Black parents applied to their baby girls was Madison, a name historically and traditionally given by White parents. By contrast, the number one boy name was Jayden, often considered a typical “Black name.” The juxtaposition of the contrast is striking.

It is no hidden secret that many Blacks in America for decades have struggled with the decision of whether to name their children a traditional African or African American name.  The decision is based on how much they want to give away the race of their children on paper – that paper being resumes or job applications.  Before the child is even born, some parents are concerned that a uniquely Black name – like Jayden, Aisha, Ebony, Jamal, Clarence or Tanisha for example – would lessen the chances of that child being cleared for a job interview, should the person screening applicants have any race-based biases.

With a president named Barack Obama in office, we would hope that the days of name discrimination are long over. However, it is hard to know if the person shifting through resumes to select interview applicants will be able to put aside any stereotypes he or she may have and consider only the credentials of an applicant.  No one wants his or her child to be cut off from a chance to prove him or herself and his or her qualifications during an interview out of the gate.

A while ago, I noticed a trend among many of my Black American friends in that they were giving their children names that were more traditionally associated with Caucasian children, including some of which were distinctly androgynous.  In fact, during the years that I took my children to Gymboree classes from 2002 to 2008, I was taken aback by the number of Black and Brown Kennedys, Morgans, Briannas, Masons, Madisons, Jordans, Carters, Paytons, Baileys, Haileys, Montanas, Regans and Brandis I saw running around.

I wondered if the parents so named their children because they had familial significance, because those were just very pretty names or simply because they may have been more “resume” proof.

There is some science behind the “resume” proof phenomenon.

Read More.


12 Comment

  1. WIll you (or someone) tell us exactly what are “black names”?


    • You know them when you see them. They are the beautiful legacy of a people who refused to have their culture stamped out (there is power in a name). They are a marker that “something happened” in history that made them buck the usual press of oppression, slavery and assimilation. A tradition worth being proud of. The Lebrons, Lakeishas, Lashondas, Trevons, Jamaals, Durons, Tyrones etc. are akin to the strengths of those who would go as far as changing their names like Malcolm X, or Muhammad Ali, etc. What an awareness of a people who would be willing to endure the shame and ridicule of the outside to keep dignity inside. Respect it.

      • Sorry, I ain’t buying it!

        It had nothing to do with ones “culture”, or one’s “pride”, “dignity”, or respect. Again, sorry, but this is true. Please stop trying to turn it into something that it is not!

        Someone thought up the “sha/que” thing and then they started adding a lot of other stuff to it, circa late 70’s 80’s! Come on now, let’s be real here and stop the crap!

        • Umm…every name was made up! How do you think they start? They dont just come out of thin air. Does it matter where/when the name was made? Slave mentality: “If it came from the master it must be established, but if it comes from me, its made up and not valid”

          Look up the origins of names. Do some research.

  2. Why do niggers give their sprogs such stupid fucking names?

  3. Becuz we can. :)~

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