Amun-Ra : What's In a Name?


Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2003
i'ma peach
PD for a Non Profit
Amun-Ra said:
Plenty! This one has been bothering me for a long time. Today there are names in the black community that rely heavily on certain sounds like "esha" and "ita." In my day we had "etta" as in Charlesetta or Jamesetta or "lean" as in Pauline or Emmaline. As a kid those names meant nothing unusual to me and still don't as do the names that are popular today.

However, several years ago it occurred to me that black people might be doing themselves a disservice picking these names, not because anything is wrong with them, but becaue it made them readily identifiable. I was watching a segment on 60 Minutes showing how an equally qualified black and woman were turned down for jobs that less qualified white men and women received.

I was not surprised by the interviews, but it made me think. How many blacks never see an interview because they are identifiable because of their name? A resume could quietly be disqualified if the personnel manager was biased against blacks and the only notice the resume owner would get is a rejection letter.

I don't know that this that this happens, but I suspect that it does more than we know. It is one thing not to get the job after an interview, but it is entirely something else when we don't even get the chance for an interview. This strips us of legal means because there is little way to prove it without an interview.

So, what do we do? I often mentor younger brothers and sisters and when they have an unusual name or spelling, I warn them of the potential for discrimination. Sometimes I suggest using initials, but that is little comfort for those who run into the prejudices of others and lose an opportunity without ever getting a chance.



Brotha Ra... I read an article on that as well... on a study done by a prominent university... maybe in the midwest... anyhoo... the names that were discriminated against were fairly simple names... like jerome, keisha.... i can't remember anymore... anyhoo... i named my children SIMPLE names that meant something to me and yet didn't collectively group them into one catergoryor another... my given name in latin/hispanic in origin... so i caught it growing up... and still do... in some instances i use my initials or an androgynous nickname that i'm called from time to time.... THE DRAWBACK... some employers want diversity... for various different reasons... and that's when these four minorities i have come into play...

btw... i picked my children's names b/c i like the name and i wanted them to have a plain name that was not that common amongst black folk... sorry... but i wanted them to be different off top....


Feb 28, 2008
if it ain't the's the zip code

yep, i've seen several studies involving this issue. you can believe it as we make fun of funny sounding or seemingly ridiculous name (such as being name of liquor or body part). so you can bet these individuals have more difficulty in getting that foot in the door.


Well-Known Member
Sep 12, 2006
Long Island NY
If we prepared our kids for something more than just being prepared to work for somebody, we wouldn't be concerned about our seeds being the 'best pick'
to make somebody else rich or service somebody else. We should be concentrating on our kids being able to run their own businesses. Then it wouldn't matter if your name was Diddy, Chaka Khan,Bo, or Prince.

It limits our creativity--but at the same time--we must be aware of the world in which we operate--in many ways we are defeated before we have a chance to play and that is sad

I agree that this is sad also how parents' own limited creativity can be transferred down to our kids. If we truly understood how our world worked we would teach our kids how to unlock their unlimited potential. They would create the situation for people to work for them. People are the most valuable aspect of most businesses. Why, because good employee's will work hard to so that the owners of the businesses can relax and prosper. Teach your kids how to utilize that valuable resource so all the Tyrones, Keishas Leroys Tichinas etc. etc. will be proud of their names instead of feel branded by them.

and by the way
Quote=African_Prince 'Isn't it blasphemous to call yourself AMUN-RA (GOD)?'
That name is of the utmost of standards. We should be shooting high in which we title ourselves. It has been brought to my attention that there was a time long ago when our goals were to become the Gods in which we revered. A person who practiced medicine's goal would be to become the present day God of medicine. A person who studied fire and surpassed what anybody knew about fire would become The God of fire of that time, which would inspire the younger generation to capture the spirit of the ancient Gods. And thus become the best at what they set out to do.



Well-Known Member
Feb 26, 2008
Metro ATL
Don't Ask
I agree and disagree with this topic. Partly because my parents gave me a European name when all my friends had "ethnic" names. And I felt out of place. And partly because I have been accused of stealing from my own self because no one believed that I was who I said I am. Got me? So my way around this is to give my children one ethnic name and one European name. Seems balanced.

My opinion,

PS: At least I always get interviewed!
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