Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Black Peeps Aren't The Only Ones Coming Up With Creative Names For Kids

One of the things that irritates me is the mocking tone of some vanilla flavored folks in Internet discourse on the subject of children's names.   They act as though we African Americans are the only ethnic group that does creative spellings of common names, creates names or comes up with head scratching things to name their child.

Really?   Does Moon Unit and Dweezil Zappa ring a bell?   How about Apple Martin, the daughter of Gwyneth Paltrow?   Megyn Kelly of Fox Noise?   Ashleigh Banfield?  Trigg and Trask Palin? Reince Priebus?  Rumer Willis?   Former BYU football coach LaVell Edwards?

My sister had as a fifth grader a girl in her class named Mary Juana Sanchez.

And yeah, I've been introduced to or heard of Euro-descended girls with the names Tangela, Mercedes, Kesha and Ciara.

As Renee of Womanist Musings pointed out in her 'What's In A Name' post,

Black names are an attempt to reclaim what has been lost.  The children of the diaspora have the names of our slave owners and anglicized first names, and this is a direct result of a complete and utter loss of our culture.  To then turn around and demonize attempts to create names that reflect this loss is racist, and in the case of ridicule by other Blacks represents internalized racism.

I grew up around or worked with people named Kwame, Kenya, Romell and Rwanda that not only have class, dignity and pride in our culture but college degrees to go with them.   Conversely there are people with anglicized names who are as ghetto as hell.  

So nope, we aren't the only ones who come up with creative names for our kids, and it's past time we stopped getting ridiculed for it.

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