Monday, July 25, 2011

Should We Stop Naming Our Children Ghetto Names?


by Julius Kane              

I have nothing against Shaniqua, JaQuin, Rashida or Devonte but a lot of people do. It has nothing to do with the name itself. It's the people those names represent. Those are Black names. Names that are exclusive to Black folks. And whether you like it or not if an ethnic sounding name comes across the desk of a bigot, believe me, Shaniqua or Raheem won't be getting that job, that loan or that credit card. My girlfriend (she's Black by the way) use to work in the Human Resources department for a known software company. And her colleagues would tell her straight up "if the name sounds like it belongs to a Black person immediately toss the application into the trash." And to keep her job she complied. I remember I use to get calls all the time from White folks trying to "feel out" my race by listening to my voice over the telephone. Black men have the most distinctive voices in the world. When I was younger I use to disguise my voice, you know, take the base out so that they couldn't tell what color I was. At least that got me into the interview. Then I'd use a little charm and charisma to get the job. But if my name had been say, Barack Obama, my application never would have made it past the waste basket. Racism (white supremacy) isn't going anywhere, anytime soon. So, what's in a name? You decide.

Writer and Publisher Julius Kane is the author of 'The Fruits of Sarah Bartmaan' and 5 other novels. Visit him at, or

1 comment:

brainsmasher said...

It just does not make sense for a parent to handicap their children with some of the names that they give them. I grew up with a normal name; but for some reason my parents decided it should be pronounced another way. It caused me years of unnecessary anguish.

Should we be discriminated against because of our names? No; but there is the way we want things to be and the way they really are. Too many black people live in a fantasy world where there is no discrimination and they raise their children to believe there is no discrimination and then they undingensend their children out into the world to be taken advantage of by racist man and racist woman.