Top Five Friday


There is a lot to be said about a person’s name. Many stereotypes and opinions are formed merely on the basis of a first name. We all know the black community is famous for naming their children after such things as luxurious cars, brown liquor, a mixed drink, a popular celebrity, or maybe a combination of the mother’s and father’s first names to create that one-of-a-kind even harder name to pronounce.

But surprisingly, black people aren’t the only ones these days with the ingenious knack for putting a spin on traditional names.  Parents of other races are expressing their selves just as much by giving their children distinctively original names and unique spellings as well.  They have gone as far as  naming their children after fruit, cities, days of the week, and fairies to mention a few. 

No wonder Pope Benedict XVI recently made a plea last month to all parents to give their children more traditional Christian names.  The Daily Mail quoted him as saying

…a child’s Christian name is an ‘indelible sign from the Holy Spirit’ and protects family life, which is ‘being threatened’.

According to the article, a priest can refuse to baptise a child if the name given is not recognised. More interesting is that Denmark, Spain, Germany, Portugal and Argentina are among those countries which publish lists of acceptable names from which parents must choose.  Portugal has banned the names Lolita, Maradona and Mona Lisa.

An amazing Black History fact proven by the 2000 U.S. Census data reveals that while parents have a choice in the right of the birth name of their children, there are some last names passed down from generation to generation that just can’t shake the racial connotations and are automatically dubbed a common African American surname.    

Today’s Top Five Friday topic: The Blackest Last Names in America

90% – Washington
75% – Jefferson
53% – Jackson
46% – Williams
37% – Jones

One of the most lasting legacies is in a name; how will you make history?  Do you believe that parents do their children a disservice by naming them untraditional names?  Should we take pride in our black surnames, or are these just slave names too?

Published in: on February 25, 2011 at 11:32 am  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Great post! I believe that society shouldn’t judge anyone for their names. I don’t see anything wrong with parents wanting to be creative and naming their children unique names. I personally think its discrimination. I also believe that some parents realize their child’s name will make a lasting impression, therefore, provoking their creativity to have their child stand out. You can never know or assume the reason a person named their child what they have. And, they shouldn’t have to justify their choice. My beautiful, intelligent daughter’s name is Danche Danielle. She was named after her father Dante. The average person that meets her would never know that she was his first born and we decided on that name because of that. Its easy to assume that most parents don’t put any thought into their childs name because you may feel its untraditional or even “ghetto”. People shouldn’t succomb to social stigmas that are unjust in my opinion.

    People with traditional names get teased too. My Fiancee’s name is Frank, he was teased because it was an old man’s name. People teased me because my middle name is Elizabeth. My fist name is Kymberly. We all know that is as common as a name can get but the unique name makes me different, it makes me stand out. Agreeing with Popes comment would have me to assume that everyone is catholic/christians and we all know that isn’t true. We shouldn’t allow discrimination against, race, religion, genderor name.

    This article was very thought provoking. I enjoyed reading it and the comments.

    Kym aka The 1 Ms. H.B.I.C. (Head Beauty In Charge)

  2. What an interesting article. Making a lasting impression is something I don’t believe the parents of kids with hard to pronounce names think about. And it’s sad too, because it affects their confidence. School mates can be harsh enough with that type of negative attention.

    • Hi D.Rene,
      You are so right about how insensitive and cruel classmates can be to each other. I don’t have a problem with the parent who wants to give their child a name that has meaning or defines their heritage. I do take pause with those who give their children names that may ultimately embarass or even hinder them in the future. Thanks for commenting.

      Peace and blessings,

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