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A few weeks ago, I posted on my blog a spoof from the People’s News called “Black Women Losing Rights to Their Children’s Names.”  The satirical article said that a judge took away black women’s rights to name their kids because black women were getting a tad to ummm, creative with the names. Most people found it hilarious, but others got a bit prickly.  The following quote I am pasting as-is, spelling errors and all:

Basically I think it’s not funny. African Americans should have the same rights as well as Caucasians and any other race to name their child whatever they please. It may not be the right choice but it’s called “Freedom”. Every one in the world can’t be proper. I’m sorry but I don’t agree with this “Funny”. God blessed people with a tongue so a teacher can simply ask the child this ” Excuse me , how do you pronounce your name”? Now is’nt that simple ??

Yes, every parent is free to name their child Boonquisha, Facebook, Apple or Tuesday.  But really…should you?

Because the child isn’t “free” when he or she is marginalized because someone in a Human Resource office can’t pronounce the name.  And for the record, you have to actually get called, interviewed, and hired before you can cry discrimination, am I right?

And this is not just my opinion.  There’s solid research to back me up.

People were quick to add some of the…urhm…unusual names they’d heard and it is almost too hard to be believed:

  • Fuquan
  • A-Goddess
  • Alize (as in the booze)
  • Apostrophe
  • Clamydia
  • Sir Jaquaylin Demetrius III
  • A name pronounced, A-sho-lee, but spelled like the curse word
  • Orangello
  • Lemonjello

‘Da hay-ee-ll?

You are free to name your child, but that child will be shackled and defined by that name for the rest of her life, unless she changes it.  Like one wise commenter said, “Mothers, please get a grip. Don’t put that kind of stress/curse on your kids. Life is hard enough as it is.”

And please.  Hold your comments about that ONE dude you knew named ‘Elemeno’ who got the CEO position at XYZ.  Okay?

What are some of the more “interesting” names you’ve come across?

Christelyn D. Karazin is the co-author of Swirling: How to Date, Mate and Relate Mixing Race Culture and Creed (to be released February 2012), and runs a blog,, dedicated to women of color who are interested and or involved in interracial and intercultural relationships. She is also the founder and organizer of “No Wedding, No Womb,” an initiative to find solutions to the 72 percent out-of-wedlock rate in the black community.


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