Who Gives A Child A “Black” Name?

What Kind of Black Person Gives Their Child a “Ghetto” Black Name?

Alright, what gives?  We have all heard weird names which have confused and amused us.  Did the parents not know how to spell, was it a misprint on the birth certificate or what were they thinking?  Many times, it is an African American who has chosen to name their child a name that screams “ghetto” to Whites and Blacks alike.  (FYI, many Blacks also cringe at “Black” names).  So let’s take a closer look.  If a person felt “Shanayqae” or “Tyrondaveeus” was a ghetto name, would they willfully choose to permanently “burden” their precious child from birth?Obviously, the parent does not feel the name is a poor choice, so I decided to look at research on the types of parents choosing these names for their offspring.  The subsequent information presented is based on an article (see URL link below) by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner.  While I do not believe they include “black” names with religious or African origins (as explained in a different post on this blog), I am not certain.

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So who are the people responsible for these “super-black” names?  Based on the article’s cited research, they are low income, single, undereducated, teen moms living in black neighborhoods.  They also share the commonality of possessing a “black” name themselves.  While the findings are not surprising, it does reinforce a point listed earlier.  Why would someone knowingly name their child one of these easily ridiculed names?  The answer is now more apparent…. they would not.  They do not feel the name is a burden because they have carried a “black” name all of their lives.  Since they live in neighborhoods where “black” names are commonplace, they are often unaware of the mainstream’s consternation and disapproval due to lack of access.

To put it more succinctly, they don’t see a problem with “black” names, and they probably don’t know or care if you do.

Article URL http://www.slate.com/articles/business/the_dismal_science/2005/04/a_roshanda_by_any_other_name.html

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