From the dawn of time, every girl and woman of color has been questioned or made fun of their parent(s), or parents have named them. Either it was a family heirloom, a state of creativity, or frankly just liked the name and way. It flowed on a newborn that was created by love and chance.
Unfortunately, for the children and later adults of the black community, we often have gotten teased for our beloved parents’ names. But, it’s usually a shock when a stereotypical name like Latisha or anything of the stereotypical has flown when an innocent child has a name that doesn’t match their face and especially their complexation. They become the victims of questions based on their origin, and finally, the questionnaire, if they’re indeed a person of color, proves their blackness.
My experience: As a child, I wasn’t aware of rare my name was with my complication, the only thing I knew I was a girl who loved the Disney channel which I viewed an actress who was my al times favorite she was quirky, funny and even creative like myself. Her name was Amanda Bynes, and she was my favorite. Having the same name and spelling as a celerity like Amanda Bynes at tender made me a little unusual, but the teasing and then bullying would later hate it. During my educational years, many people were shocked that my name was Truly Amanda. Even the teacher, some confused and considered calling me something I would allow due to be a quiet student who didn’t want any trouble.
However, if I only knew by high school, my reality would set in that. Indeed, I’m different, and it would cause a problem or discomfort.
It was the first day of being in a new school. I was already worried that my anxiety was on an all-time high.
I remember it like it was yesterday, I got my ID for school, and the sanctuary looked my face and the ID and boldly asked if “this is your real name.” I couldn’t believe it; it’s not like I have another name she asked me again, this time rudely “This can’t be your real name.” I looked at this lady with the sourest face I could give her with tight braids and all.
It was the talk of the week, it went as far as I had called one of my parents or showed other identification that indeed my name is Amanda, and I’m a woman of color. In the end, I got tired of peers asking me, teachers speculating and well, people staring and so, I used my family nickname “Mandi” well most people that I’m in connect with know me as such as unless I let you in my world.
As I got older, it has come to my attention that indeed, people of color or minority descent have the thought and based on the beautiful moment bringing their bundle of joy to change to have ” white-sounding name,” especially the first name that can indeed shape the way people may treat you either, romantically, educationally, and professionally.
I’m a Black woman from Canada with a “white name,” and I wouldn’t change it for the world unless it’s on social media.
I’m reticent that way.