We have come a long way in our freedom when it comes to names. No longer are we stuck with names like Emily, William, and Maximilian, but we have moved on to various spellings, pronunciations, and origins. Names like Romeo, Muhammad, and Zoe are very common. My biggest concern however is why when we have such a wide range of wonderful and respectful names, do parents find the need to explore their own identity and Independence while giving their children the ONE thing that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
Why are children being given nicknames as birth names. I have met a Willie, a Bobby, a Bill. Do parents not understand that those are all nicknames? A nickname is called a nickname for a reason, it is a shortened version of a person's given name. Now what if said person is never given a real name, but only a given name. It is customarily considered polite to introduce ones self to an elder, boss, or any other new meeting using the full name. Meaning that its probably considered rude to merely walk up to someone with your arm extended and state, "Hi, my name is Willie/Bobby/Tony/Billy/etc."
So I ask again, why did their mothers feel like it was OK to put their children in a perpetual state of rudeness? My personal theory is that their moms don't love them. I know that this may sound harsh, but what I mean is that, if we all know that its our job to arm our children with the best possible circumstances, then by naming their kids whatever comes to mind, or picking their names out of a scrabble letter bag they are taking that chance with their children's future. If they loved their kids then they would just write out the whole name to give their kids one less thing they had to fight for in this life. Instead of just leaving it at Will...add the illiam to the end. It will make a world of difference.
MY PEOPLE are responsible for this across the board. We give our daughters names like Aquanetta, Shanquinesha, and Uniqua; and our sons names like Marquan, LaTerrance, and Ariq. While it can't be denied that these are all beautiful names, they do not belong on our future CEO's, school teachers, Doctors, or Grandmothers. Instead these people are forced to take lower jobs, they are forced into professions where they are encouraged not to say their names, and even when they are in positions of higher power they are encouraged to ignore that name because of the stigmas that follow. It is common knowledge that both Oprah Winfrey and Condoleeza Rice were given two of these "not-so-desirable" names as middle names by their parents, and once they made it into higher company they both had their middle names changed. Oprah to her best friend's name, Gail, and Condoleeza Rice to her father's name. While many African-Americans with these names have succeeded, as long as racism exists, people with these "ghetto" names on their resumes will have an uphill battle. I just wish our parents had thought of that.
I want everyone to know that I am not merely speaking as someone on a whole name-bashing kick, but as a fellow member of the club. My own mother thought it would be cute to give me a "silent H" as she calls it. Thanks mom...ttyl