Yes, My Name Is Shenequa But No, I’m Not “Ghetto”

October 11, 2012  |  

From Hello Beautiful

In October 1984, my 16-year-old mother, Charmaine realized she was pregnant. A lot of decisions as a mom would have to be made on my behalf, and the first would be my name. She thought about Taylor for a bit, but that lost momentum. She dug the name Adrien because a woman named Adrien Arpel made a facial cream she loved, so she decided to go with that. On June 17th, three weeks past my original due date, doctors induced Charmaine. Eight or nine hours later, I was born.

Moments before the birth certificate and pen were in her hand, a family friend came to see Charmaine and I, and made a suggestion that drastically changed my life,“Why don’t you name her Shenequa?”


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