Rachelsessayafrocentricnames - Afrocentric Names Names are...

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Afrocentric Names Names are a crucial part of society. Names are what people are remembered by, addressed by and even judged by. Today, what you are named can truly impact where you stand in the future, often determining what job interviews you receive, how quickly you climb the corporate ladder, and whether or not you face discrimination in the work place. Unfortunately, in modern American society, the more mainstream a name is, the better chance an individual has for success. For this reason, African American parents should carefully consider more racially neutral names for their children because Afrocentric names so often result in a future of discrimination for their child. Today, many believe that African-Americans have every right to name their child Afrocentric names because it is a part of their heritage, where they come from, and who they are. As Margaret G. Lee from Hampton University states, “Thus, the African practice of giving the most unique, unusual and elegant name possible, where sound is as important as meaning, is an integral part of the African American oral tradition,” (126). It is sadly assumed that outlandish- sounding names such as Tamira and Lakeisha are just made up gibberish from a low-class , these names truly have meaning. Satran and Rosenkrantz write, Take that “La” at the beginning [of LaKeisha]. Hundreds of African-American names, male as well as female ones, start with “La,” a practice that can be traced back to the vigorous Free Black community in the nineteenth century Louisiana, where the French ‘La’ prefix was affixed to many names, first as well as last. (265) Understanding this basic origin for names beginning with “La”, perhaps fewer people would roll their eyes as they come across names like, LaFonda, LaTyra or LaKeisha, and instead would appreciate the roots of these names. Providing the rest of the name’s history, Rosenkrantz and Satran explain that Keisha is actually pulled from one of the daughters of Job in the bible, Keziah
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Aiken 2 (265). Names classified as Afrocentric commonly pull inspiration from actual places, desirable virtues, names of grandparents, and historical elements of Christianity or Islam. Understanding that names categorized as Afrocentric are not ignorant but truly eclectic and full of meaning, the argument stands that African-Americans have strong, valid reasons for naming their children these names. Many African-Americans believe that in failing to give their children Afrocentric names, they are “giving into the white man” or feeding into the prejudice. As T.J. Flannigan, an African- American who was interviewed on the subject, states, "They're going to be discriminated against anyway. I don't think we should be trying to fit in; we should be trying to build our own businesses and support each other,” (Johnson). Clearly the belief that African Americans should
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Rachelsessayafrocentricnames - Afrocentric Names Names are...

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