Eff Raven Symone at this point, seriously. But let’s talk about these ‘ghetto names’

Sad state of affairs when a successful woman of color with a purposely misspelled name that contains a completely unnecessary accent mark is on TV rocking flaming red hair (which is certainly perceived as ‘ghetto’ on her by her peers whether or not she realizes it) is talking about how she wouldn’t hire someone with a ‘ghetto’ name and even references watermelon. 
A name is a name just like skin is skin and clothes are clothes. They only mean what we make them mean and we really need to consider how ‘black’ names became the marker for who not to hire and how that effects the lived realities of actual human beings looking to go to school and become part of the work force.
I’ve known Deannas, Starquannas and Jay, Tay AND Day Quans and I never treated them any differently than the Samantha’s, Eric’s or Adams as my schoolmates OR students. 
It saddens me that we internalize this foolishness, even naming our children specifically based on what will give them the ‘best chance’ on an application. 
We get to choose their names and we often stay far away from cultural names so they won’t be judged but please believe that won’t save them. I shudder to think of how many of us would choose a different skin tone or hair texture for our children if we could.
When Johari and Jayla are wildly successful in whatever it is they decide to do it is those cultural names (granted- I now realize ‘Jayla’ might be quite palatable to a Eurocentric ear) that will be announced when they receive their accolades and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Jess and Jack have enough awards. 
And they’d be the same kids if they were Jamal and Jasmarie or Jay Quan and Janiqua.


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