What’s in a name?

Yes, another posting about names.

I watched the Tyra Show during my lunch break today. It was all about how people judge others based on their name. The show was quite inciting, and reminded me of how racist this country continues to be.

The show reminded me of a study that was conducted awhile back in which duplicate resumes were submitted to different firms—one with a "white-sounding" name and one with "black-sounding" name. The results were that the "white-sounding" named resume got call-backs more often.

In the case of my own name, I have a more "white-sounding" name than my sister. I wonder if she was judged differently based on her name. I love my name but it doesn't reflect my background. My first name is English, my middle name is French and my last name is Spanish. Yet, I am African-American.

I anticipate naming my children Cora Francis and Anthony [unsure of middle name]---derived from the names of my great grandparents and my father. These names were not choosen to reflect a nationality, but in honor of my ancestors. I hope that by the time my children grow up, they won't have to face such stereotypes based on something they have no control over.

It's a sad but true fact that our lives are governed by stereotypes and other quick-clues based on past experience and (mis)information. But we should always fight those stereotypes and remember how hurtful they are when directed at ourselves.

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