The Shaniqua’s, Shanene’s, LaQuan’s, Monifa’s, LaTiquia’s and others with flavorful, unique, undeniably African American names may be intensely reading this article to see the outcome of the question: “Can I change my ghetto name?”
A woman who begged the courageous question is named “Laquita” and The Root’s Jenee’ Desmond-Harris addressed it as a question of her African American culture. The question is definitely rhetorical because, of course, everyone knows they have the ability to legally change their name once they’re an adult. The real inquiry appears to be one of acceptance. It almost seems as though the woman is asking the black community for permission to change her name because she may feel she’s turning her back on her culture.
The Root’s Jenee Desmond Harris pointed out that the reason she’s been pushed to make this inquiry is that white America has denied certain opportunities to those who feel that the people behind such a name are from a lower socio-economic class themselves with little to no education:
“Nope, the only thing “wrong” with “Laquita,” …in the minds of those who are so put off by it is likely that it’s “associated with lower socioeconomic status” (pdf). My view is that the disdain isn’t really for the three innocent little syllables but, rather, for the type of black person who they imagine would choose to put them together. And even if your name really does correlate, as one study showed that some do, with having parents without a high school education, is that something to be ashamed of? Even in a country where the racial wealth gap was “built” and the ghetto is “public policy”?”
Do you think you have been passed over for a job because of your name? Have you wanted to change your name because of the lack of opportunities or do you really hate your “ghetto” name? Read this article before you make your decision.
Check out Key & Peele’s take on our unique names from a comical point-of-view.