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Xeon's post about what black women name their children got me thinking about the weird habit whites in the American west have of giving their boys names that start with "La-"...LaDell, LaVell, LaVern, etc. I went looking for popular names online and found that the government tracks that. That got me thinking about comparing white names and black names with some real data. So I went to a Social Security web site where you can look up the most popular baby names in each state. I pulled up the top 100 girl names from 2008 where there are the highest and lowest percentages of blacks: District of Columbia (60 percent black) and Montana (0.3 percent black). Then I crossed off the names that appeared on both lists...names like Lucy, Olivia, Natalie, Morgan, Kennedy, Victoria, Mia, Maya, Kayla, Makayla, and Nevaeh.

Here's what was left: the favorite names that were unique to each place. Can you tell which were given by black parents and which were given by whites?

Place A..............Place B

Addison...............Aaliyah

Alyssa................Alana

Arianna...............Alexa

Aspen.................Alexandra

Aubrey................Amira

Aurora................Ana

Autumn................Andrea

Bailey................Angel

Brooklyn..............Angela

Brooklynn.............Angelina

Brynn.................Angie

Cassidy...............Aniya

Gracie................Aniyah

Hadley................Asia

Hailey................Camila

Haley.................Caroline

Harper................Catherine

Hayden................Charlotte

Isabelle..............Daniela

Ivy...................Eleanor

Jenna.................Gabriela

Jordan................Genesis

Josie.................Isabel

Kaitlyn...............Jada

Kaylee................Jasmine

Keira.................Jayla

Kyla..................Jazmin

Kylee.................Jennifer

Kylie.................Jessica

Layla.................Jocelyn

Lillian...............Julia

Lilly.................Katherine

Lily..................Kimberly

Lydia.................Laila

Madison...............Lila

Maggie................London

Marley................Madeleine

Miley.................Madeline

Molly.................Madelyn

Mya...................Madison

Mylee.................Maria

Paige.................Mckenzie

Payton................Melanie

Peyton................Michelle

Piper.................Naomi

Ruby..................Nicole

Rylee.................Nora

Savannah..............Rebecca

Violet................Sara

Zoey..................Sofia

There are some weird spellings in both columns, but nothing that would make me think a kid with that name was handicapped for life. Which makes me wonder: is there any evidence blacks give their kids bizarre names any more often than whites? Excuse me..."Brooklynn"? Twelve unlucky kids in lily-white Montana had that albatross hung around their necks last year, according to Social Security. Clearly, unconventional names and variant spellings aren't strictly a black thing. In fact, according to the Social Security site, naming your kid after a city is all the rage across the country. "Brooklyn" was the 47th most popular name nationwide in 2008, and "Brooklynn" was 182nd. “Boston” and “Memphis” haven't made the top 100 yet, but they have been moving up the rankings by leaps and bounds in recent years. Now that's just sad.

What is up with "Brooklynn"? I bet you don't see people in Bed-Stuy or Red Hook naming their kids "Bozemann".

The right-hand column has the D.C. names. Don't tell me "Aaliyah” is one of those nonsense, invented black names, though. That's a time-honored Arabic one.

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This is brain dead argument. Attempting to create a faux pas argument of parity of ridiculous names between whites and blacks is laughable. American Negroes have made a science of naming their children with ridiculous names. Yes, whites also have penchant for stupid names. No doubt. But the percentage of post 1970 Negroes who were given doofus names by their misguided parents, has no rival….PERIOD! So the apocryphal attempt to justify self extirpative behavior by Negroes by pointing to that of whites doesn’t cut it. Nice try…….

At one point, I was watching a popular TV baby-mama-drama-daddy-DNA show and I could not help but notice the over whelming number of doofus names of the mothers and their fatherless children. I started writing the names of the mothers and children down until I collected 34 different embarrassingly silly names (Ra'Shaniqua, Ja'Quarius, Latonda, Shequeeda, Tyisha, Mar'Quita, Toree, Ty'Ressha, Tayqueeda, LaQueesha, etc, etc.....). The coonery continues…….

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...the percentage of post 1970 Negroes who were given doofus names by their misguided parents, has no rival….PERIOD! So the apocryphal attempt to justify self extirpative behavior by Negroes by pointing to that of whites doesn’t cut it. Nice try…….

At one point, I was watching a popular TV baby-mama-drama-daddy-DNA show and I could not help but notice the over whelming number of doofus names of the mothers and their fatherless children. I started writing the names of the mothers and children down until I collected 34 different embarrassingly silly names (Ra'Shaniqua, Ja'Quarius, Latonda, Shequeeda, Tyisha, Mar'Quita, Toree, Ty'Ressha, Tayqueeda, LaQueesha, etc, etc.....). The coonery continues…….

One of the stereotypes of poorly-educated, poorly-socialized whites is that they name their kids things like Billy Bob and Betty Lou, and give them the middle name Wayne (News of the Weird keeps a running list of murder suspects with that middle name). They get called "poor white trash" or "hillbillies" instead of "coons". What is the equivalent of what you call "coonery" for Latinos? Naming their kids Aztec names? Or Inca names like Tupac? Or even just calling them Pablo instead of Paul? Is Pablo Gonzalez at discrimination risk when HR reads his job application? Sure, but is giving your kid a distinctively Latino name...beanery, as you might put it?

My question remains this: is name foolery a behavior that can be quantitatively distinguished among races, like teenage births? Or is it a generalized behavior that gets commented on only when blacks do it, like eating watermelon, for example? Simply claiming that blacks do it more often doesn't make it so, and certainly doesn't answer the question of whether it may be just one more black stereotype (like watermelon) and something that ticks off certain black folks because it's a stereotype.

It may be a fact that blacks give weird names more often than whites do. But anecdotes don't prove that.

Here's an anecdote fer ya: one of the most prominent white families in this country named their kids Willow, Piper, Track, Tripp, and Trig. I haven't heard anyone call that "self-extirpative." You betcha. [wink]

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One of the stereotypes of poorly-educated, poorly-socialized whites is that they name their kids things like Billy Bob and Betty Lou, and give them the middle name Wayne (News of the Weird keeps a running list of murder suspects with that middle name). They get called "poor white trash" or "hillbillies" instead of "coons". What is the equivalent of what you call "coonery" for Latinos? Naming their kids Aztec names? Or Inca names like Tupac? Or even just calling them Pablo..........

Well, for the record, unlike Negroes, Latinos (as a group) do not have the notoriety of giving their children absurd names. I’m sure you can find examples of such nonsense but such cases are a fractional minority -not the standard. The vast majority of Latino names are Anglo and Spanish (e.g., David Morales, Maria Torres, Tony Hernandez, Michael Velasquez, etc). And the most popular names for Latino babies are Maria, Jose, Diego, Mariana, Santiago, Valeria, etc. I have yet to see Latino children with names like Abcde (yes, this is not a typo, it's true), Ty’Reesha, Antwan, Shawanda, Tomique, LaPrell or Tysheena. The Latino names are real. They have origin and history unlike the Negro names which are obviously made up, juvenile sounding and ridiculous. Sorry, but facts are facts. No amount of reactionary obfuscation or fatuous rationalizing will change this……

My question remains this: is name foolery a behavior that can be quantitatively distinguished among races, like teenage births? Or is it a generalized behavior that gets commented on only when blacks do it, like eating watermelon, for example?

The names themselves are a travesty. The argument or defense of such behavior is people are free to name their children as they please. Sadly, this is correct since there is no law (nor should there be one) that prohibits someone from naming their child as they please. This not a legal issue but one of intelligent and mature decision making. You are free to stab yourself in the eye with a lead pencil but is it an intelligent or mature thing to do? And since Negroes (as a group) tend to indulge in this behavior more often (nonsensical names), they are noted for doing so. It is what it is……

Simply claiming that blacks do it more often doesn't make it so, and certainly doesn't answer the question of whether it may be just one more black stereotype (like watermelon) and something that ticks off certain black folks because it's a stereotype.

No, it is so. Why? Because seeing a black child with a ridiculous sounding name is not uncommon. But other groups having such names is uncommon. That is not to say they do not exist, but it is uncommon. To see a young black child with a name like Shalonda, Demarcus or Laquisha is no longer unusual. But to see a non-white child with a name like Blueberry, Apple, Elijah Blue, Diamond or SueLynn (yes, those are actual names given by whites) is uncommon. The most common baby names (for whites) in the past three years consists of names such as Noah, Madison, Olivia, Ethan, Addison, Daniel, Elijah, Charlotte and Sophia. Of course such names are too boring, uncreative, dull and not different enough for American Negroes. We know this…..

It may be a fact that blacks give weird names more often than whites do. But anecdotes don't prove that.

No my friend, I’m sorry but attempting to suggest stating that a generation of blacks have been given silly and oftentimes childish names, is no more than subjective anecdotal musings, is incorrect. Once again, it is what it is…….

Here's an anecdote fer ya: one of the most prominent white families in this country named their kids Willow, Piper, Track, Tripp, and Trig. I haven't heard anyone call that "self-extirpative." You betcha. [wink]

Ha! Ha! Ha! Nice try. But I can top that. More than a year ago, a white man in New Jersey called attention to himself when a bakery refused to put the name “Adolf Hitler” on his small sons birthday cake. The same bakery also refused to make a cake bearing the name of his daughter, JoyceLynn “Aryan Nation” Campbell. His other daughter “Honszlynn Hinler” Jeannie Campbell, was named for Schutzstaffel after Heinrich Himmler who was head of the Nazi SS. But fools like the guy in New Jersey and the so-called prominent white families you mentioned, are in small percentage. The embarrassingly silly names given to black children by their parents does not represent a tiny minority. Just take a national poll and ask teachers and educators in large urban areas about the names of the black children on their school rosters. End of subject…..

P.S. I just got off the phone while writing this post. A good friend of mine who is a pediatrician in Sacramento, responded to this subject with the following: “ Listen, I see more kids in one week with these ridiculous stupid names then you will see in a life time……and most of them are black.” Those are his words and medical working experiences –not mine.

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Of course it's subjective: I happen to like "Demarcus". Sounds masculine and dignified. "Condoleeza" looks silly to me, but I wouldn't call her parents coons. You want weird? M'eshell N'degeOcello. I don't think any serious person can call the name she gave herself coonery. She's probably more successful and respected in her field than you or I.

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No disrespect, but this topic reeks of absurdity to one who actually knows and appreciates the dynamics and richness of one's history. I wonder if Xeon is actually a European in Blackface. For the general community I recommend the book Africanisms in American Culture by Joseph Holloway. There are many essays which address the African-American naming convention and linguists assert it is a carry over of Niger-Congo (a language family) linguistic traits into American version of English.

This isn't "weird" or "unintelligent" speech; but in fact the retaining of old African naming conventions and styles that have survived and even mutated in English via the Indo-European language family. Most people forget that cities are named after PEOPLE. So to name someone after a city is no different than naming your child after your grandmother: it's still the name of a person.

A lot of times people think AA's are mispronouncing English words when in fact they are African. For instance, MASSA is not a mispronunciation of MASTER. It is a Mande (Mandingo) word MASA which means CHIEF (or anyone in authority under the chief).

The so-called made up names adhere to a convention that purposely distinguishes it from Anglo saxon names. This isn't a "travesty" but a clear and conscious effort for identification after one's identity has been stripped due to enslavement. Not all Black people are of the ignorant notion that European names are better "sounding" than "Black" names. A matter of fact, when one does a comparative analysis of African and Indo-European languages, one will come to find out that a large number of English, Latin and Greek terms are in fact African (see writings from Catherine Acholonu, Chiekh Anta Diop, Mubinge Bilolo, GJK Campbell-Dunn, Theophile Obenga, etc.). So if these terms originate from Black people and they transposed it under European tongues, which one "sounds" more absurd? The imitator or the originator?

The majority of European names are "made-up" and have lost or have no meaning. A lot of them are the result of folk etymology. At some point in history all names are "made-up." I can guarantee that you don't know what the name America means but you will still call yourself an American! America comes from Ameriggo and has no meaning which Mr. Vespucci made-up. But Europeans somehow get a pass for their "travesties" but among the Bakala (African-Americans) this is somehow a sin.

Only Black people hate their culture....I wonder why?

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The so-called made up names adhere to a convention that purposely distinguishes it from Anglo saxon names. This isn't a "travesty" but a clear and conscious effort for identification after one's identity has been stripped due to enslavement.

Is this why you chose Asar Imhotep? I'm curious: do you just use this as a pen name, or have you made it your legal name as well? What kind of reactions do you get when you use it at the grocery store or the Department of Motor Vehicles?

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No disrespect, but this topic reeks of absurdity to one who actually knows and appreciates the dynamics and richness of one's history. I wonder if Xeon is actually a European in Blackface. For the general community I recommend the book Africanisms in American Culture by Joseph Holloway. There are many essays which address the African-American naming convention and linguists assert it is a carry over of Niger-Congo (a language family) linguistic traits into American version of English.

This isn't "weird" or "unintelligent" speech; but in fact the retaining of old African naming conventions and styles that have survived and even mutated in English via the Indo-European language family. Most people forget that cities are named after PEOPLE. So to name someone after a city is no different than naming your child after your grandmother: it's still the name of a person.

A lot of times people think AA's are mispronouncing English words when in fact they are African. For instance, MASSA is not a mispronunciation of MASTER. It is a Mande (Mandingo) word MASA which means CHIEF (or anyone in authority under the chief).

The so-called made up names adhere to a convention that purposely distinguishes it from Anglo saxon names. This isn't a "travesty" but a clear and conscious effort for identification after one's identity has been stripped due to enslavement. Not all Black people are of the ignorant notion that European names are better "sounding" than "Black" names. A matter of fact, when one does a comparative analysis of African and Indo-European languages, one will come to find out that a large number of English, Latin and Greek terms are in fact African (see writings from Catherine Acholonu, Chiekh Anta Diop, Mubinge Bilolo, GJK Campbell-Dunn, Theophile Obenga, etc.). So if these terms originate from Black people and they transposed it under European tongues, which one "sounds" more absurd? The imitator or the originator?

The majority of European names are "made-up" and have lost or have no meaning. A lot of them are the result of folk etymology. At some point in history all names are "made-up." I can guarantee that you don't know what the name America means but you will still call yourself an American! America comes from Ameriggo and has no meaning which Mr. Vespucci made-up. But Europeans somehow get a pass for their "travesties" but among the Bakala (African-Americans) this is somehow a sin.

Only Black people hate their culture....I wonder why?

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Sorry but using an Afro-centric argument to justify the absurd , self degrading and ignorant process of the current "naming rituals" of the so called American Negro is disingenuous. The fact is that these young stupid kids have zero knowledge of their African heritage. They couldn't tell you the name of more than two countries in Africa, where they are located, what type of government they have and what the countries current history of human rights violation is, let alone how they go about naming their children. If we use Imhotep's argument of awareness of the so called African tradition then at the height of the civil rights movement when Negroes were at their most advanced political, social and self awareness in history why didn't they choose those names?

The fact remains that this type of naming is not a result of slavery or harkening back to the old African ways. It is symbolic of a generation of lost souls who have created their own culture steeped and wallowing in complete ignorance with things like Hip-Hop, pants falling off the asses, Ebonics and a host of other things that I do not even have time to list! The folks that are naming their children these ridiculous names do not even know how to spell them. They are for the most part uneducated and yes stupid and will propagate another generation of ignorant-ass Negroes that will further bring us down to a new low.

Never mind what white people do about crazy names. They run society and I could care less what crazy names they pick. We as black folk have, through our own misdeeds, pushed ourselves to the bottom of the totem pole and need to do what we can to bring ourselves up. Somebody named Laquisha will likely be taking orders at Denny's or if the are lucky might get a job at the DMV, but I assure you, unless they change their name, will likely not be serving on the board of directors of Intel or own a car dealership.

As far as that ridiculous list from the social security, I don't think that wins any argument. I am a pediatrician in a big inner city children's hospital and I see these names each and every day. I always see the name before I see the child and can tell you with virtual certainty if the patient has a name like Diwayne or Laquanda that they will not be white, Hispanic or Native American. I can also tell you how they will be dressed, how they will talk and if that is likely to be a single mom.

Not rocket science - just fact.

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Hmmm, funny at Dr. Chicago. Chicago is a mispronunciation of the Algoquian language word shikaakwa which means "Stinky Onion" and you have the nerve to talk about Black names? And it amazes me that people who think they are smart and learned know nothing about African history, linguistics, language contact and African-American Vernacular English [AAVE](what I call KiKala). If you did, then you'd know why your statement is inaccurate and a folk belief according to linguists.

One does not have to be "aware" of customs to practice them. Most Christians don't know (or care to know) that JESUS is a Yoruba "deity" by the name of ESU. In the Akan language it is AYESHU. In ancient Egyptian it is simply SHU. In Hebrew we have YESHUA. 99% of Christians don't know that the Angel GABGRIEL is another Yoruba deity by the name ELEGBARA. EL- is Cannanite for "God" and GEBRE means "servant" or "messenger." In Yoruba EL-EGBARA is a variant. The Europeans try to make him the devil because he's an African "deity" but try to make the same deity in Hebrew an "angel."

All this to say is that when African-Americans make silly arguments concerning what they perceive to be negative among their people only demonstrates how ignorant they are and how ashamed they are to be Black. It's funny how ancient Romans, Greeks, Hebrews, etc., break their necks to try and be like the Africans, yet African-Americans run like hell from their own culture and demonize it.

And I personally know people with "black sounding names" who are doing very well in corporate America. I'm just wondering if Chicago has evolved yet based on your statements.

Sorry but using an Afro-centric argument to justify the absurd , self degrading and ignorant process of the current "naming rituals" of the so called American Negro is disingenuous. The fact is that these young stupid kids have zero knowledge of their African heritage. They couldn't tell you the name of more than two countries in Africa, where they are located, what type of government they have and what the countries current history of human rights violation is, let alone how they go about naming their children. If we use Imhotep's argument of awareness of the so called African tradition then at the height of the civil rights movement when Negroes were at their most advanced political, social and self awareness in history why didn't they choose those names?

The fact remains that this type of naming is not a result of slavery or harkening back to the old African ways. It is symbolic of a generation of lost souls who have created their own culture steeped and wallowing in complete ignorance with things like Hip-Hop, pants falling off the asses, Ebonics and a host of other things that I do not even have time to list! The folks that are naming their children these ridiculous names do not even know how to spell them. They are for the most part uneducated and yes stupid and will propagate another generation of ignorant-ass Negroes that will further bring us down to a new low.

Never mind what white people do about crazy names. They run society and I could care less what crazy names they pick. We as black folk have, through our own misdeeds, pushed ourselves to the bottom of the totem pole and need to do what we can to bring ourselves up. Somebody named Laquisha will likely be taking orders at Denny's or if the are lucky might get a job at the DMV, but I assure you, unless they change their name, will likely not be serving on the board of directors of Intel or own a car dealership.

As far as that ridiculous list from the social security, I don't think that wins any argument. I am a pediatrician in a big inner city children's hospital and I see these names each and every day. I always see the name before I see the child and can tell you with virtual certainty if the patient has a name like Diwayne or Laquanda that they will not be white, Hispanic or Native American. I can also tell you how they will be dressed, how they will talk and if that is likely to be a single mom.

Not rocket science - just fact.

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I have no problems navigating the world with the name Asar Imhotep. The Yoruba variant is ISALE MODUPE. When you know and own your name with no apologies and strut it boldly you don't have issues. And if there is, as a linguist, I can check em where they stand in regards to what they think they know about language, names and history etc. It seems like the majority of the responses on this thread comes from people who sound like they come from small country towns and never interacted as a youth with people from various cultures. It's funny how some people associate having a good "English" name is to be honored but don't understand a lot of these names are mispronunciations of African names. I will be glad when Black people actually turn off the tv and read books about their history and language so we can stop embarrassing ourselves in public thinking we're intelligent by denying who we are, when who they are trying to be is trying to be like us. ...

Is this why you chose Asar Imhotep? I'm curious: do you just use this as a pen name, or have you made it your legal name as well? What kind of reactions do you get when you use it at the grocery store or the Department of Motor Vehicles?

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boofan, I like you analysis (1) because it shows that the vast majority of the names used on the Black list are "normal" suggesting that the "unusual" name despite the hype and anecdotal observations are not the majority.

Asar's statements are important as well. As I've asserted "At some point in history all names are "made-up"".

Making fun of a name like Shaniqua, in my mind, is a form of self hatred; because the hatred stems from the name not confirming to a "so called" European Standard and the assumption (false assumption in my opinion) that the name alone will be held against one trying to gain employment or otherwise be held against them.

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boofan, I like you analysis (1) because it shows that the vast majority of the names used on the Black list are "normal" suggesting that the "unusual" name despite the hype and anecdotal observations are not the majority.

Asar's statements are important as well. As I've asserted "At some point in history all names are "made-up"".

Making fun of a name like Shaniqua, in my mind, is a form of self hatred; because the hatred stems from the name not confirming to a "so called" European Standard and the assumption (false assumption in my opinion) that the name alone will be held against one trying to gain employment or otherwise be held against them.

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If you work with a population of poor people, of course you're going to see a lot of ignorant behavior. And if you worked in a school in rural Pennsylvania, you'd see a lot of little white boys named Wyatt whose moms are unmarried dropouts that give their boys mullet hairdos.

The nice thing about data is that unlike anecdotes, they give you a perspective beyond the end of your nose. Here's some even better data: names sorted entirely by race, courtesy of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. I'll list the top 200 girl names from 2008 for black and non-hispanic whites at the end of my post. Check it out. You can tell by the names which is the black list, but there are none of Xeon's 20-letter, apostrophed "doofus" names in the top 200. And there are names like "Yitty" and "Pessy" in the white list.

The name data shows that 1) extreme names are not a big deal with urban east-coast blacks, and 2) neither whites nor blacks in NYC adhere closely to the traditional Anglo-Saxon set of names.

So if your "coonery" names can't break the top 200 among blacks in New York City, Xeon, how are those few names holding back the whole race? You might ask long-time Thumpers Corner poster Ferocious Kitty how she got to be a columnist and university instructor, and how she earned an economics degree from Yale and a masters in teaching with a name like "Deesha." The Black Writers' Conference that Troy just advertised in the literature forum will feature a writer who was a Fulbright Scholar, has won multiple awards, and is currently serving a university fellowship -- all in spite of being named "Tiphanie". If naming is destiny, how the hell did Kweisi Mfume and Barack Obama get elected? No disrespect intended to the names of any of the people I mentioned.

P.S.

I was wrong about Condoleeza being a black name. That's old-school Italian.

P.P.S.

I probably should note, before this discussion goes too much farther, that I am not black.

*****************************************

Top 200 girl baby names by race for 2008 in NYC, from Deptment of Health and Mental Hygiene. In order of popularity, from highest to lowest.

BLACK.................NON-HISPANIC WHITE

Madison................................. Olivia

Kayla...................................... Esther

Makayla................................. Sarah

Nevaeh................................... Sophia

Jada........................................ Rachel

Brianna................................... Emma

Chloe...................................... Chaya

Destiny................................... Ava

Alyssa.................................... Leah

Gabrielle................................. Miriam

Imani...................................... Isabella

Kimora................................... Julia

Aaliyah................................... Sara

Jayla....................................... Chana

Abigail................................... Samantha

Arianna.................................. Emily

Ava........................................ Ella

Fatoumata.............................. Sofia

Jade........................................ Elizabeth

London.................................. Mia

Savannah................................ Anna

Victoria.................................. Victoria

Aniyah................................... Rivka

Nyla....................................... Abigail

Olivia..................................... Charlotte

Taylor..................................... Maya

Ashley.................................... Gabriella

Sarah...................................... Lily

Jasmine................................... Alexandra

Laila....................................... Grace

Chelsea................................... Chloe

Heaven................................... Sophie

Faith....................................... Zoe

Serenity.................................. Gianna

Lauren.................................... Nicole

Mya........................................ Madison

Nia......................................... Hannah

Amaya.................................... Madeline

Tamia..................................... Lila

Mariam................................... Rebecca

Naomi.................................... Caroline

Mia......................................... Katherine

Aniya..................................... Alexa

Danielle.................................. Angelina

Emily...................................... Faigy

Leah....................................... Malka

Mariah.................................... Eva

Maya...................................... Amelia

Paige...................................... Kayla

Rihanna.................................. Natalie

Samantha............................... Maria

Alexis..................................... Lauren

Jayda...................................... Malky

Layla...................................... Michelle

Mariama................................. Riley

Morgan................................... Alyssa

Sanaa...................................... Lucy

Amelia.................................... Stella

Gabriella................................. Raizy

Isabella................................... Avery

Janiyah................................... Devorah

Rachel.................................... Shaindy

Saniyah.................................. Gitty

Sydney................................... Naomi

Anaya..................................... Hailey

Hailey..................................... Sienna

Janiya..................................... Rivky

Shania.................................... Sadie

Alicia...................................... Sydney

Aminata................................. Isabel

Christina................................. Claire

Saniya.................................... Eliana

Amina.................................... Molly

Autumn.................................. Sabrina

Breanna.................................. Baila

Hannah................................... Chava

Khloe..................................... Isabelle

Kyla....................................... Alexis

Zoe......................................... Brianna

Mikayla.................................. Jessica

Sanai...................................... Shira

Amira..................................... Amanda

Elizabeth................................ Audrey

Kiara...................................... Brooke

Nylah..................................... Dina

Shaniya.................................. Hindy

Alana...................................... Julianna

Amani.................................... Madeleine

Ariana.................................... Mary

Michelle................................. Noa

Amirah................................... Talia

Ariel....................................... Yitty

Brooke................................... Ruby

Kaylee.................................... Francesca

Kennedy................................ Pearl

Natalia.................................... Alice

Skye....................................... Ariana

Vanessa.................................. Ashley

Aissatou................................. Nechama

Aliyah.................................... Sasha

Amiyah.................................. Catherine

Angelina................................. Nina

Briana..................................... Nora

Janiah..................................... Valentina

Skyla...................................... Violet

Summer.................................. Danielle

Ayanna................................... Eliza

Hawa...................................... Margaret

Miracle................................... Daniella

Oumou................................... Eden

Sade....................................... Fiona

Shiloh..................................... Goldy

Trinity.................................... Laila

Essence.................................. Taylor

Esther..................................... Gabrielle

Fatima.................................... Mindy

Jessica.................................... Addison

Kaylah.................................... Lucia

Kylie...................................... Phoebe

Leilani.................................... Layla

Marley.................................... Lia

Peyton.................................... Rochel

Samara................................... Ariella

Shayla.................................... Blimy

Arielle.................................... Bracha

Asia........................................ Eleanor

Courtney................................ Evelyn

Fatou...................................... Josephine

Janaya.................................... Juliana

Kaitlyn................................... Lola

Sariah..................................... Toby

Sophia.................................... Veronica

Adrianna................................ Vivian

Amber.................................... Beatrice

Amiya.................................... Jenna

Brielle..................................... Kate

Ciara....................................... Keira

Emani..................................... Libby

Fanta...................................... Lillian

Gianna.................................... Lyla

Harmony................................ Maeve

Kaliyah................................... Rose

Katelyn.................................. Arianna

Keira...................................... Blima

Kelsey.................................... Leila

Kendra................................... Sury

Kyra....................................... Yocheved

Madisyn................................. Bella

Malia...................................... Clara

Princess.................................. Madelyn

Simone................................... Scarlett

Talia....................................... Adina

Tianna.................................... Morgan

Aisha...................................... Penelope

Akira...................................... Perel

Amanda................................. Pessy

Angel..................................... Shoshana

Chasity................................... Yehudis

Eliana..................................... Adriana

Isis.......................................... Anastasia

Janelle.................................... Annabelle

Jordan.................................... Eve

Jordyn.................................... Gabriela

Kamora.................................. Georgia

Kimberly................................ Mackenzie

Melanie.................................. Megan

Nadia..................................... Caitlin

Naima..................................... Dylan

Nicole..................................... Henny

Stephanie............................... Jane

Taliyah................................... Laura

Tiana...................................... Lena

Adriana.................................. Natalia

Angela.................................... Siena

Bianca.................................... Tessa

Cheyenne............................... Yael

Crystal.................................... Christina

Diamond................................ Mariam

Dominique............................. Paige

Eden....................................... Reese

Erin........................................ Yides

Grace...................................... Ahuva

Isabelle................................... Chany

Janae...................................... Dalia

Jazmine.................................. Elena

Jenna...................................... Esty

Jordin..................................... Juliette

Kelis....................................... Melanie

Kira........................................ Michaela

Megan.................................... Sima

Nailah..................................... Tamar

Paris....................................... Alessandra

Sabrina................................... Alina

Sariyah................................... Allison

Skylar..................................... Annabel

Tiara....................................... Brucha

Zaria....................................... Daniela

Aicha...................................... Diana

Amy....................................... Emilia

Bintou.................................... Jana

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All of the input into this discussion neglects to take certain things into consideration. As much as we defend and justify the made-up names people are given, the bottom line is not about a parent's prerogative but about Society's perception. You can't control how people will react to the name you give your child, and children are the ones who have to shoulder the burden of a bizarre moniker. Even if a name doesn't inspire raised eyebrows among a child's peers, the general reaction to it by the powers-that-be can prove to be a handicap once adulthood is reached. Yes, the President of the United States has an African name and from day one it was considerd as big a liability as his cocaine habit and his wreckless youth. B)

A child deserves to be given every chance to succeed in life, and names are a brand. Of course it isn't fair to judge a person by his or her name, but life is not fair. Haven't black folks learned by now that there is no justice in this world???? Enuff with the poly-syllabic tongue-twisters replete with apostrophes. Stop using your child to indulge your whims. :blink:

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Yes, the President of the United States has an African name and from day one it was considerd as big a liability as his cocaine habit and his wreckless youth.

Good point about how uncomfortable some whites were with Obama's name.

I wish a certain teenage driver in my household had a wreck-less youth. :)

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BTW, there are odd names and then there are crazy names. IMO, "Deesha", the real name of my gurl Ferocious Kitty, is not a crazy name, it's an odd name. And while I'm mouthing off, changing one's given name to an African one is, to me, an affectation. Having said all of this, however, I do think that having a name people stumble over, doesn't necessarily prevent a person's progress, it can just hamper it. :unsure:

Obviously I am an opinionated old school person. <_<

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The real question is are you an action type person or a "reaction" type person? Type people? Who cares what society thinks. Society once thought that Blacks should ride the back of the bus. But we, being us with no apologies, changed the circumstances by forcing the world to recognize our world-view.

It is statements like these that renders most Black people, with a Eurocentric mindset, impotent in making history and contributing to the forward flow of history. Everything they do, every thought they think is a reactionary one. What would white folks say? Most Blacks claim they believe in God but statements like this keeps reinforcing for me that they (Black folk) are full of hot air. For if one does believe in God, and that we are made in the likeness of his/her/its image, and that we have a fraction of the power that is the Creator, then trivial things like the White man won't approve our names would be of no consequence and asinine.

It's time Black people stop being scared of who they are and how they "be." When you take ownership of the great gifts that make your community the emulation of the world, then you command the respect that other people in the world get who don't give a rats ass about "society" (code word for the white man) thinks; but embraces who they are and thrives because they have a rich ethnic consciousness and uses that consciousness to surpass Blacks in this country (Latinos, Indians, Jews, Chinese, Japanese, etc.). Black people still haven't learned that it is by your culture that you get ahead as a people, not by emulating the white man.

Here are a few African proverbs quoted in my The Bakala of North America: The Living Suns of Vitality pg7,8:

The Bird does not think that his own nest is shabby - Waswahili

If nobody praises one, one must praise oneself - Edo

One's buttocks, even if skinny, serves as a seat - Oromo

A man's greatness and respect comes from himself - Waswahili

Every bird flies with its own wings - Waswahili

When a snake or some other animal leaps out of the forest, you throw at it whatever is in your hand - Bambara

All of the input into this discussion neglects to take certain things into consideration. As much as we defend and justify the made-up names people are given, the bottom line is not about a parent's prerogative but about Society's perception. You can't control how people will react to the name you give your child, and children are the ones who have to shoulder the burden of a bizarre moniker. Even if a name doesn't inspire raised eyebrows among a child's peers, the general reaction to it by the powers-that-be can prove to be a handicap once adulthood is reached. Yes, the President of the United States has an African name and from day one it was considerd as big a liability as his cocaine habit and his wreckless youth. B)

A child deserves to be given every chance to succeed in life, and names are a brand. Of course it isn't fair to judge a person by his or her name, but life is not fair. Haven't black folks learned by now that there is no justice in this world???? Enuff with the poly-syllabic tongue-twisters replete with apostrophes. Stop using your child to indulge your whims. :blink:

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I don't dispute what you say, Asar Imhotep.(How could somebody like me who once meditated in a pyramid argue with somebody bearing a name like yours? :D ) I've been hearing your mantra for at least 40 years, - all to no avail.

The diaspora are strangers in a strange land. America is not accomodating to black nationalism so who is to condemn hybrid slave descendants for finding ways to navigate the mainstream of the Promise Land, just like descendants of Europeans do?

Those who want to venerate and celebrate their African origins should, perhaps, return to the Motherland to avoid frustration.

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The real question is are you an action type person or a "reaction" type person? Type people? Who cares what society thinks. Society once thought that Blacks should ride the back of the bus. But we, being us with no apologies, changed the circumstances by forcing the world to recognize our world-view.

It is statements like these that renders most Black people, with a Eurocentric mindset, impotent in making history and contributing to the forward flow of history. Everything they do, every thought they think is a reactionary one. What would white folks say? Most Blacks claim they believe in God but statements like this keeps reinforcing for me that they (Black folk) are full of hot air. For if one does believe in God, and that we are made in the likeness of his/her/its image, and that we have a fraction of the power that is the Creator, then trivial things like the White man won't approve our names would be of no consequence and asinine.

It's time Black people stop being scared of who they are and how they "be." When you take ownership of the great gifts that make your community the emulation of the world, then you command the respect that other people in the world get who don't give a rats ass about "society" (code word for the white man) thinks; but embraces who they are and thrives because they have a rich ethnic consciousness and uses that consciousness to surpass Blacks in this country (Latinos, Indians, Jews, Chinese, Japanese, etc.). Black people still haven't learned that it is by your culture that you get ahead as a people, not by emulating the white man.

Here are a few African proverbs quoted in my The Bakala of North America: The Living Suns of Vitality pg7,8:

The Bird does not think that his own nest is shabby - Waswahili

If nobody praises one, one must praise oneself - Edo

One's buttocks, even if skinny, serves as a seat - Oromo

A man's greatness and respect comes from himself - Waswahili

Every bird flies with its own wings - Waswahili

When a snake or some other animal leaps out of the forest, you throw at it whatever is in your hand - Bambara

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Asar

Do not get me wrong. Your name has a real cultural and historic meaning. It was well thought out with great deliberation and it helps define who you are. That being said, my original argument still stands. The people that are making up these names will haunt their children's careers for life. And yes it does matter what society thinks as as far as career development unless you want to be on MTV or play in the NBA. Otherwise you can stay a player on the street, get your little welfare check and other handouts from the Man but show your defiance cause you are Shaniqua and don't give a damn what anybody thinks.

The real culture that we should be embracing is the culture that has been laid down by people like Jean Toomer, Chester Himes, Paul Robeson, John Coltrane, Langston Hughes, Charlie Parker, James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison , Dr King, Malcolm X and many more. What kept them from naming their offspring Lakayla or Lebron? Black folks have enough richness and heritage in their background through people whose works and words have passed the test of time that we don't need to celebrate the minstrel culture that this latest generation is creating as if it is some type of Afrocentric genius and creativity. White people and older school black folks see it as what Xeon correctly calls "Coonology" cause that is what it is. If that has something to do with Africa then I do not want any part of Africa!

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The real question is are you an action type person or a "reaction" type person? Type people? Who cares what society thinks. Society once thought that Blacks should ride the back of the bus. But we, being us with no apologies, changed the circumstances by forcing the world to recognize our world-view.

It is statements like these that renders most Black people, with a Eurocentric mindset, impotent in making history and contributing to the forward flow of history. Everything they do, every thought they think is a reactionary one. What would white folks say? Most Blacks claim they believe in God but statements like this keeps reinforcing for me that they (Black folk) are full of hot air. For if one does believe in God, and that we are made in the likeness of his/her/its image, and that we have a fraction of the power that is the Creator, then trivial things like the White man won't approve our names would be of no consequence and asinine.

It's time Black people stop being scared of who they are and how they "be." When you take ownership of the great gifts that make your community the emulation of the world, then you command the respect that other people in the world get who don't give a rats ass about "society" (code word for the white man) thinks; but embraces who they are and thrives because they have a rich ethnic consciousness and uses that consciousness to surpass Blacks in this country (Latinos, Indians, Jews, Chinese, Japanese, etc.). Black people still haven't learned that it is by your culture that you get ahead as a people, not by emulating the white man.

Here are a few African proverbs quoted in my The Bakala of North America: The Living Suns of Vitality pg7,8:

The Bird does not think that his own nest is shabby - Waswahili

If nobody praises one, one must praise oneself - Edo

One's buttocks, even if skinny, serves as a seat - Oromo

A man's greatness and respect comes from himself - Waswahili

Every bird flies with its own wings - Waswahili

When a snake or some other animal leaps out of the forest, you throw at it whatever is in your hand - Bambara

Asar

Do not get me wrong. Your name has a real cultural and historic meaning. It was well thought out with great deliberation and it helps define who you are. That being said, my original argument still stands. The people that are making up these names will haunt their children's careers for life. And yes it does matter what society thinks as as far as career development unless you want to be on MTV or play in the NBA. Otherwise you can stay a player on the street, get your little welfare check and other handouts from the Man but show your defiance cause you are Shaniqua and don't give a damn what anybody thinks.

The real culture that we should be embracing is the culture that has been laid down by people like Jean Toomer, Chester Himes, Paul Robeson, John Coltrane, Langston Hughes, Charlie Parker, James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison , Dr King, Malcolm X and many more. What kept them from naming their offspring Lakayla or Lebron? Black folks have enough richness and heritage in their background through people whose works and words have passed the test of time that we don't need to celebrate the minstrel culture that this latest generation is creating as if it is some type of Afrocentric genius and creativity. White people and older school black folks see it as what Xeon correctly calls "Coonology" cause that is what it is. If that has something to do with Africa then I do not want any part of Africa!

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At the core of this debate is whether or not African-Americans have the right to define themselves like all other people on the face of the earth; or are we somehow not qualified for this basic human benefit? When you say a name sound strange, who does it sound strange to? It would only sound "strange" to a European. African names don't sound strange to Africans. European names sound "strange" to Africans. These are relative arguments.

This is only a debate because we have Black folks who think that White people's ice water is colder than theirs. Only someone who hates himself, doesn't know his history and thinks that white culture and values are the "norm" or standard in which all other people should be waged, would even entertain such stupidity as this.

Dr. Wade Nobles defines power as, "The ability to define reality and to have everyone respond to your definition as if it were their own." By some of the comments in this discussion, we obviously are not dealing with people who believe they are sovereign and have power. I don't mesh well with people who think they are powerless.

I don't dispute what you say, Asar Imhotep.(How could somebody like me who once meditated in a pyramid argue with somebody bearing a name like yours? :D ) I've been hearing your mantra for at least 40 years, - all to no avail.

The diaspora are strangers in a strange land. America is not accomodating to black nationalism so who is to condemn hybrid slave descendants for finding ways to navigate the mainstream of the Promise Land, just like descendants of Europeans do?

Those who want to venerate and celebrate their African origins should, perhaps, return to the Motherland to avoid frustration.

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At the core of this debate is whether or not African-Americans have the right to define themselves like all other people on the face of the earth; or are we somehow not qualified for this basic human benefit? When you say a name sound strange, who does it sound strange to? It would only sound "strange" to a European. African names don't sound strange to Africans. European names sound "strange" to Africans. These are relative arguments.

This is only a debate because we have Black folks who think that White people's ice water is colder than theirs. Only someone who hates himself, doesn't know his history and thinks that white culture and values are the "norm" or standard in which all other people should be waged, would even entertain such stupidity as this.

Dr. Wade Nobles defines power as, "The ability to define reality and to have everyone respond to your definition as if it were their own." By some of the comments in this discussion, we obviously are not dealing with people who believe they are sovereign and have power. I don't mesh well with people who think they are powerless.

Dr Noble's rhetorical definition of power is more about wishful thinking than implementation. And the "core" of your argument is more about pride than rights, the implication being that pride is synonymous with power. I disagree. Acquiring power calls for pragmatism, which in turn involves infilterating the ranks of those who own power. Flaunting all of the superficial trappings of Afro-centrism is comparable to a theatrical performance. Confronting the white power structure on its own terms presents more of a threat to it.

America is not Africa, so Afro-centrics are swimming against the tide. They can mount their soap boxes and spout a lot of patented smack and metaphoric cliches, or they can leave the 1960s behind, enter the 21st century and equip themselves to go with the flow, or, - they can return to their natural habitat and fully embrace their African heritage.

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Dr Noble's rhetorical definition of power is more about wishful thinking than implementation. And the "core" of your argument is more about pride than rights, the implication being that pride is synonymous with power. I disagree. Acquiring power calls for pragmatism, which in turn involves infilterating the ranks of those who own power. Flaunting all of the superficial trappings of Afro-centrism is comparable to a theatrical performance. Confronting the white power structure on its own terms presents more of a threat to it.

America is not Africa, so Afro-centrics are swimming against the tide. They can mount their soap boxes and spout a lot of patented smack and metaphoric cliches, or they can leave the 1960s behind, enter the 21st century and equip themselves to go with the flow, or, - they can return to their natural habitat and fully embrace their African heritage.

Madame Cynique, I have enjoyed reading your comments for years. I like the flinty pragmatism you're expressing here, but I have no idea how to reconcile this side of you with the self-confessed "new-age flake" you revealed in your review of The Lost Symbol.

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Asar Imhoteo - Preach!

Cynique, I'm not so sure returning to Africa would avert the frustration. The European influence is just as strong, if not more so. Other than the poverty (also a consequence of imperialism) that was perhaps the most disheartening thing I witnessed.

Bookfan, just curious; why did you feel it necessary to say that you were not Black?

Africans, throughout the Diaspora and in Africa, can't allow others to dictate how we name our own children -- just because the dominant culture is uncomfortable. The only way the negative perceptions will change is if we continue to press for that change. If we don't not will change.

I'm seriously debating changing my name.

My anecdotal observations are the white folks change their names to conform to the dominant culture. Black people do to for the opposite reasons.

Again, if a Barack Hussein Obama can be elected President of the US, and a Condoleezza can be secretary of state a provost at Stanford. The whole argument about a unusual names being a hindrance goes out the window.

Now people who name their children "ABCDE" are so few; it is inconsequently to this argument.

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Madame Cynique, I have enjoyed reading your comments for years. I like the flinty pragmatism you're expressing here, but I have no idea how to reconcile this side of you with the self-confessed "new-age flake" you revealed in your review of The Lost Symbol.

Touche! Like a pyramid, there are 3 sides to me, and one side is a polemic who takes the opposite view of a debater who wraps himself in the confidence that may be built on sand instead of rocks. Anyway, WHO knows. What does WHO know? Whether Afro-centrism will find a home in "Babylon". :unsure:

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I have to respectfully disagree here based on my own research into African naming conventions and how these methods, although full meaning has been lost, has been retained in African-American "culture" (if we can name it that). This is why I recommended the book Africanisms in American Culture by Dr. Joseph Holloway. There are several articles which explain the phenomenon in detail which is too great to address here.

In the list provided above there is a name for a female as AMANI. That is not an attempt at an "African-Sounding" name: it is African. AMANI derives from IMANI, MWENE, MANI (MANA) which refers to the divine (God) and human beings (the spirit of man). It is where we actually get the term MAN from which survived in Indo-European. Europe lost the meaning of GOD/DIVINE in relation to the name. But they still kept the an association in a variant of the term ANIMUS which means SPIRIT. It is the same root for ANIMAL. In linguistics we call the switching of phonemes "metathesis." Here the MA and NI have been switched. The root of MANI/IMANI/AMANI is -NI- which means SPIRIT/MAN/DIVINE. MA- is a Niger-Congo class prefix which denotes a human noun class. In reality it is a word which denotes INTELLIGENCE. Thus why it is associated with humans, the Divine and ancestors: because what separates them from rocks, trees, clouds, etc., is its capacity to think (although a lot of humans refuse to use this capacity to the fullest). So AMANI (MAN) is an INTELLIGENT BEING/SPIRIT.

If we didn't tap back into the African cultural philosophy that spawned many of the concepts we hold dear, we would forever be in darkness to the words we use. MAN in the European tradition simply refers to a physical body in contrast to inanimate things. This was/is not the understanding of the mothers and fathers of humanity. A human being is an intelligent force of the cosmos having a human experience.

There is nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to "African-sounding" names. There is no intelligence deficiency. There are many practices AA's do that if they would just study their history will understand why they do what they do and why they shouldn't be ashamed of it. A student of African history will understand why LAKISHA is not just some "made-up" name, but a name that derives from the ancestral memory of the people (AKWANSHI/KUSH). I know many LaKisha's in high places, even in education, who have no problems navigating based on their name.

As I mentioned in my book, and as someone has echoed in this thread, Barack HUSSEIN Obama is president of the United States, the highest office with a "weird" sounding name. That baseless argument is no excuse anymore. What I find as antiquated Negroism (coonery) is Black folks who don't know their history trying to sound intelligent and whose arguments can't hold up to scrutiny because they are baseless and are only used to cover one's desire to be something they can never be: a White man.

Asar

Do not get me wrong. Your name has a real cultural and historic meaning. It was well thought out with great deliberation and it helps define who you are. That being said, my original argument still stands. The people that are making up these names will haunt their children's careers for life. And yes it does matter what society thinks as as far as career development unless you want to be on MTV or play in the NBA. Otherwise you can stay a player on the street, get your little welfare check and other handouts from the Man but show your defiance cause you are Shaniqua and don't give a damn what anybody thinks.

The real culture that we should be embracing is the culture that has been laid down by people like Jean Toomer, Chester Himes, Paul Robeson, John Coltrane, Langston Hughes, Charlie Parker, James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison , Dr King, Malcolm X and many more. What kept them from naming their offspring Lakayla or Lebron? Black folks have enough richness and heritage in their background through people whose works and words have passed the test of time that we don't need to celebrate the minstrel culture that this latest generation is creating as if it is some type of Afrocentric genius and creativity. White people and older school black folks see it as what Xeon correctly calls "Coonology" cause that is what it is. If that has something to do with Africa then I do not want any part of Africa!

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Dr. Noble’s definition is based on over 30 years of research into the subject. This has nothing to do with pride but on exactly what I said in my first statement. Your reply is a pseudo reactionary response on something that you have not studied based on your quoted statement. I don’t aim to debate this point which is humanities 101.

All human agminations (clusters, populations, groups), as a very fundamental human right, has the right to define themselves as they see fit in response to the challenges of their environment. In Amazulu thought we call this SIMULTANEOUS VALIDTY. This is the notion that all human population’s self definitions are simultaneously valid, legitimate and important like any other people on earth.

The argument you are making is from the perspective of someone who has little to no self-worth; someone who has wholly adopted the European devaluation of the human being. If you did not, then you would see the importance and value of the expressions and world-view of Black people in America.

Also, by your concept of what Afrocentrism is, you obviously have not read any literature by African-Centered scholars. If you did you’d know how to properly define Afrocentricity. What you just spouted is something you made up. Afrocentricity is a methodology that re-locates, re-orientates African/Black people in history as agents/subjects of their own history and perspectives and not objects, something insignificant to the forward flow of human progress.

Afrocentricity as a workable, viable social theorem has been alive and well before African people were drug to these shores. As a viable framework and method of analysis of texts written about African people across the world, it really has its footing in the 1950’s with Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop and solidified itself in the late 60’s, early 70’s with Molefi Kete Asante. So this notion that it is a “fad” and will “never” find a place in “Babylon” is hogwash as it is older than probably most people on this forum.

Dr Noble's rhetorical definition of power is more about wishful thinking than implementation. And the "core" of your argument is more about pride than rights, the implication being that pride is synonymous with power. I disagree. Acquiring power calls for pragmatism, which in turn involves infilterating the ranks of those who own power. Flaunting all of the superficial trappings of Afro-centrism is comparable to a theatrical performance. Confronting the white power structure on its own terms presents more of a threat to it.

America is not Africa, so Afro-centrics are swimming against the tide. They can mount their soap boxes and spout a lot of patented smack and metaphoric cliches, or they can leave the 1960s behind, enter the 21st century and equip themselves to go with the flow, or, - they can return to their natural habitat and fully embrace their African heritage.

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I have to respectfully disagree here based on my own research into African naming conventions and how these methods, although full meaning has been lost, has been retained in African-American "culture" (if we can name it that). This is why I recommended the book Africanisms in American Culture by Dr. Joseph Holloway. There are several articles which explain the phenomenon in detail which is too great to address here.

In the list provided above there is a name for a female as AMANI. That is not an attempt at an "African-Sounding" name: it is African. AMANI derives from IMANI, MWENE, MANI (MANA) which refers to the divine (God) and human beings (the spirit of man). It is where we actually get the term MAN from which survived in Indo-European. Europe lost the meaning of GOD/DIVINE in relation to the name. But they still kept the an association in a variant of the term ANIMUS which means SPIRIT. It is the same root for ANIMAL. In linguistics we call the switching of phonemes "metathesis." Here the MA and NI have been switched. The root of MANI/IMANI/AMANI is -NI- which means SPIRIT/MAN/DIVINE. MA- is a Niger-Congo class prefix which denotes a human noun class. In reality it is a word which denotes INTELLIGENCE. Thus why it is associated with humans, the Divine and ancestors: because what separates them from rocks, trees, clouds, etc., is its capacity to think (although a lot of humans refuse to use this capacity to the fullest). So AMANI (MAN) is an INTELLIGENT BEING/SPIRIT.

If we didn't tap back into the African cultural philosophy that spawned many of the concepts we hold dear, we would forever be in darkness to the words we use. MAN in the European tradition simply refers to a physical body in contrast to inanimate things. This was/is not the understanding of the mothers and fathers of humanity. A human being is an intelligent force of the cosmos having a human experience.

There is nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to "African-sounding" names. There is no intelligence deficiency. There are many practices AA's do that if they would just study their history will understand why they do what they do and why they shouldn't be ashamed of it. A student of African history will understand why LAKISHA is not just some "made-up" name, but a name that derives from the ancestral memory of the people (AKWANSHI/KUSH). I know many LaKisha's in high places, even in education, who have no problems navigating based on their name.

As I mentioned in my book, and as someone has echoed in this thread, Barack HUSSEIN Obama is president of the United States, the highest office with a "weird" sounding name. That baseless argument is no excuse anymore. What I find as antiquated Negroism (coonery) is Black folks who don't know their history trying to sound intelligent and whose arguments can't hold up to scrutiny because they are baseless and are only used to cover one's desire to be something they can never be: a White man.

I

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Dr. Noble’s definition is based on over 30 years of research into the subject. This has nothing to do with pride but on exactly what I said in my first statement. Your reply is a pseudo reactionary response on something that you have not studied based on your quoted statement. I don’t aim to debate this point which is humanities 101.

All human agminations (clusters, populations, groups), as a very fundamental human right, has the right to define themselves as they see fit in response to the challenges of their environment. In Amazulu thought we call this SIMULTANEOUS VALIDTY. This is the notion that all human population’s self definitions are simultaneously valid, legitimate and important like any other people on earth.

The argument you are making is from the perspective of someone who has little to no self-worth; someone who has wholly adopted the European devaluation of the human being. If you did not, then you would see the importance and value of the expressions and world-view of Black people in America.

Also, by your concept of what Afrocentrism is, you obviously have not read any literature by African-Centered scholars. If you did you’d know how to properly define Afrocentricity. What you just spouted is something you made up. Afrocentricity is a methodology that re-locates, re-orientates African/Black people in history as agents/subjects of their own history and perspectives and not objects, something insignificant to the forward flow of human progress.

Afrocentricity as a workable, viable social theorem has been alive and well before African people were drug to these shores. As a viable framework and method of analysis of texts written about African people across the world, it really has its footing in the 1950’s with Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop and solidified itself in the late 60’s, early 70’s with Molefi Kete Asante. So this notion that it is a “fad” and will “never” find a place in “Babylon” is hogwash as it is older than probably most people on this forum.

I didn't expect a self-appointed griot like you to agree with my comments because people like you can't stand for others to challenge their pontificating.

But be advised that I am equally unimpressed with your rebuttal because what you say hasn't proved its worth. And you mimic your so-called oppressors by repressing dissent. Until the countries of West Africa set an example of how their noble ancestry has benefitted them, then you need to focus on what Blacks need to do TODAY to survive in America. Having an African name or any other kind of name ain't gonna get an unemployed person a job. It's the economy, Stupid. And you better believe that the generic Barak Obama wouldn't be president if he hadn't had a white momma from Kansas and who, even as we speak, is bending over backwards to accomodate white folks.

So get real, and find a new label to try and neutralize your opponents with. The old "self-hate" stand-by is played out. I LUV myself because I am not deluded. I am native to this country and am proud of the rich heritage that is indigenous to the black presence in America. You and all of your preaching are probably descended from the tribes that sold their captives to the white slave hunters. :P

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Dr. Noble’s definition is based on over 30 years of research into the subject. This has nothing to do with pride but on exactly what I said in my first statement. Your reply is a pseudo reactionary response on something that you have not studied based on your quoted statement. I don’t aim to debate this point which is humanities 101.

All human agminations (clusters, populations, groups), as a very fundamental human right, has the right to define themselves as they see fit in response to the challenges of their environment. In Amazulu thought we call this SIMULTANEOUS VALIDTY. This is the notion that all human population’s self definitions are simultaneously valid, legitimate and important like any other people on earth.

The argument you are making is from the perspective of someone who has little to no self-worth; someone who has wholly adopted the European devaluation of the human being. If you did not, then you would see the importance and value of the expressions and world-view of Black people in America.

Also, by your concept of what Afrocentrism is, you obviously have not read any literature by African-Centered scholars. If you did you’d know how to properly define Afrocentricity. What you just spouted is something you made up. Afrocentricity is a methodology that re-locates, re-orientates African/Black people in history as agents/subjects of their own history and perspectives and not objects, something insignificant to the forward flow of human progress.

Afrocentricity as a workable, viable social theorem has been alive and well before African people were drug to these shores. As a viable framework and method of analysis of texts written about African people across the world, it really has its footing in the 1950’s with Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop and solidified itself in the late 60’s, early 70’s with Molefi Kete Asante. So this notion that it is a “fad” and will “never” find a place in “Babylon” is hogwash as it is older than probably most people on this forum.

It is difficult to know how to respond to most of this Afro-Centric nationalistic nonsense spouting forth as practical informed academic research that somehow translates into a real world meaning for a young black teenage mother in New Haven trying forge her identity and that of her child's by naming her Shaquinta.

Let us assume that we accept Asar Imhotep's argument that this validated and perfectly acceptable child naming has its roots in Africa, a country I still contend that the average clown coming up with these names knows nothing about. And let us all agree they have a perfect right to name their child anything they want. God bless them. This is America and one of its greatest assets is that we can do things like that and not go to jail. But at the end of the day, the so called Negro will still have to advance in this rough, wicked world and distancing ones self from the negative and stereotypical behaviors of this current ghetto mentality generation is going to be paramount to making it. Not by so called European standards but by world standards.

I might add here that just because somebody thinks a behavior is negative they are not self hating. The Nation of Islam, whether you agree or disagree with their philosophy, has been ranting and raving for years about not only these ridiculous names but other behaviors like Negro teen promiscuity, profanity, dressing like clowns and buffoons, talking ignorant, using the "N" word and all the other self destructive behavior, and no one could hardly call them self hating! I happen to think that Lil' Wayne as well as Mantan Moreland and Stepin Fetchit all present a negative image of Negroes but I am not self hating. I happen to think that our culture is so rich in positive contributions to the world that you never have to point back to Africa to find that richness. One only has to look at the writers of the Harlem Renaissance and beyond or the music of John Coltrane, Edward Kennedy Ellington, Thelonius Monk, Nina Simone or the current writings of Walter Mosley or the historic writings of Carter Woodson and John Hope Franklin which should allow us to put aside these romantic musings about Africa. I will have more to say later on what my Nigerian and Zambian friends have to say about their observations regarding the current Negro generation and their so called African cultural traditions.

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Bookfan, just curious; why did you feel it necessary to say that you were not Black?

I think it's pretty relevant to what informs (or doesn't inform) my perspective on this topic.

Also, now that I'm finally participating instead of lurking (thanks for ignoring my registration emails at the old site), I figured it would come up sooner or later. If it turned out to be later, I wouldn't want anyone to think I had been pulling a Ward Churchill.

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I didn't expect a self-appointed griot like you to agree with my comments because people like you can't stand for others to challenge their pontificating.

But be advised that I am equally unimpressed with your rebuttal because what you say hasn't proved its worth. And you mimic your so-called oppressors by repressing dissent. Until the countries of West Africa set an example of how their noble ancestry has benefitted them, then you need to focus on what Blacks need to do TODAY to survive in America. Having an African name or any other kind of name ain't gonna get an unemployed person a job. It's the economy, Stupid. And you better believe that the generic Barak Obama wouldn't be president if he hadn't had a white momma from Kansas and who, even as we speak, is bending over backwards to accomodate white folks.

So get real, and find a new label to try and neutralize your opponents with. The old "self-hate" stand-by is played out. I LUV myself because I am not deluded. I am native to this country and am proud of the rich heritage that is indigenous to the black presence in America. You and all of your preaching are probably descended from the tribes that sold their captives to the white slave hunters.

Right on! I do not know much about you but you think much in the mode of my parents who grew up in the Depression without much and struggled and were able to instill in me great pride in my people. Those people are not the same people that some of the folks on this board are referring to but were those people like James Baldwin , Ralph Ellison who lived in my aunt's building in New York, Dr King, Duke Ellington and you know the drill.

They didn't teach me much about Africa. I learned that on my own. When the Afro-Centrics refer to Africa I do wonder what Africa do they refer to. Do they refer to those from the countries that sold our folks into slavery with little or no help from white folks or to Rowanda where they didn't need a single white person to help them slaughter, rape, burn, maim and dehumanize over a million of their own people. Can we now blame the white man man for all the fascist militaristic, gay killing countries all over the "Motherland". Countries who would not have so much as a light bulb or working toilet if it was not for European technology! I want no part of it. I am proud to be a black American without being a nationalist and without Negroes like Lil' Wayne, Ice T, Chancellor Williams, Michael Eric Dyson, Clarence Thomas, Jesse Jackson, Lil Kim, Remy Ma and a list of minstrel buffoonsthat make me ashamed to be black. If I am a self hater then so be it! The hell with these Negroes who have to go way past our own rich positive cultural heroes to a phony romantic view of a diverse continent like Africa to explain our current state of pathetic affairs.

If you just look at our music right now you will agree with Chaka Khan who said over 10 years ago that we are in the dark ages of music. I would add that we are in the dark ages of cultural awareness and people like Malcolm X and Dr King are turning over in their graves. This generation with their coonery, buffonery and slave mentality have reversed everything that my parents fought for. I hold out little hope for the American Negro. They are a victim of the slave mentality.

I could now care less about the parents of the little kids I take care of in my practice. There is no hope for them and they have only their selves to blame. I just hope that these kids will hark back to their real heritage and culture and wake up. Thank God for people like you.

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The root of MANI/IMANI/AMANI is -NI- which means SPIRIT/MAN/DIVINE. MA- is a Niger-Congo class prefix which denotes a human noun class. In reality it is a word which denotes INTELLIGENCE. ... So AMANI (MAN) is an INTELLIGENT BEING/SPIRIT.

In Arabic, "amani" means "hope." In Swahili, it means "peace."

When Billy Ray "Achy Breaky" Cyrus gave his daughter Destiny (aka "Miley") the middle name "Hope," I don't imagine he constructed any elaborate meaning for it.

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I will refrain from responding to this nonsensical banter as you obviously don't know who I am or what I advocate in regards to African-Americans "now." So until you do what this website advocates and read a book, then please refrain from commenting about things you do not know. The last comment demonstrates for me that you might not be all that smart. For if I came from a "tribe" that sold his ancestors into slavery, if you are "Black" 9/10 so would you be. But I'll let you struggle with that one on your own. Cognitive dissonance is a disease I don't have a cure for. You can have the last word.

I didn't expect a self-appointed griot like you to agree with my comments because people like you can't stand for others to challenge their pontificating.

But be advised that I am equally unimpressed with your rebuttal because what you say hasn't proved its worth. And you mimic your so-called oppressors by repressing dissent. Until the countries of West Africa set an example of how their noble ancestry has benefitted them, then you need to focus on what Blacks need to do TODAY to survive in America. Having an African name or any other kind of name ain't gonna get an unemployed person a job. It's the economy, Stupid. And you better believe that the generic Barak Obama wouldn't be president if he hadn't had a white momma from Kansas and who, even as we speak, is bending over backwards to accomodate white folks.

So get real, and find a new label to try and neutralize your opponents with. The old "self-hate" stand-by is played out. I LUV myself because I am not deluded. I am native to this country and am proud of the rich heritage that is indigenous to the black presence in America. You and all of your preaching are probably descended from the tribes that sold their captives to the white slave hunters. :P

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No disrespect, but this topic reeks of absurdity to one who actually knows and appreciates the dynamics and richness of one's history. I wonder if Xeon is actually a European in Blackface.

Not hardly. There is nothing absurd about the topic other than the misguided efforts of Negroes to recreate themselves with silly and ridiculous names.

For the general community I recommend the book Africanisms in American Culture by Joseph Holloway. There are many essays which address the African-American naming convention and linguists assert it is a carry over of Niger-Congo…..

A lot of times people think AA's are mispronouncing English words when in fact they are African. For instance, MASSA is not……..

This means nothing. Your efforts so use some kind of pseudo Afro-nudnik linguistic chicanery does not fly with me. I could care less about your so-called name analysis. While your efforts as a self taught toponymist is commendable, I’m really not interested in your name analysis since it has no meaningful bearing nor impact of the gritty reality of everyday black life. So, I’m not going to waste my time countering the obvious my friend. Next……

The so-called made up names adhere to a convention that purposely distinguishes it from Anglo saxon names. This isn't a "travesty" but a clear and conscious effort for identification after one's identity has been stripped due to enslavement.

Let me be clear about something. I have no problems with blacks adopting non-western names. If they understand the possible consequences of doing so, then so be it. My objection is to the self ghettoizing group-think that manifests itself in the form of "childish names" (most ending with the “a” vowel) given to virtually an entire generation! And the intellectually vacuous argument that Negroes are doing this as an attempt to separate themselves from white America is equally stupid. There are many non-traditional and non-European names to choose from for your child if that is your desire. But this pseudo-Afro-pollyanna-group-think of making up these doofus names speaks for itself.....

Not all Black people are of the ignorant notion that European names are better "sounding" than "Black" names.

Really? Well, I don’t recall the assertion that European names sound better. That type of argumentative mendacity serves no purpose. Next…..

A matter of fact, when one does a comparative analysis of African and Indo-European languages, one will come to find out that a large number of English, Latin and Greek terms are in fact African (see……… under European tongues, which one "sounds" more absurd? The imitator or the originator?

Uh huh, and you can prove this? You have documented sources that are recognized by linguistic scholars and credible academic institutions that can verify your pontifications? Ok, I’ll listen. Produce it……

The majority of European names are "made-up" and have lost or have no meaning. A lot of them are the result of folk etymology. At some point in history all names are "made-up." I can guarantee that you don't know what the name America means but you will still call yourself an American! America comes……..

Ya know, I don’t want to appear to be disrespectful Mr. Imhotep, but the above represents the type of meaningless incongruous blather and pseudo Afro-nudnik intellectualism that strains reality. Sorry, but I can’t say it any other way……

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I didn't expect a self-appointed griot like you to agree with my comments because people like you can't stand for others to challenge their pontificating.

But be advised that I am equally unimpressed with your rebuttal because what you say hasn't proved its worth. And you mimic your so-called oppressors by repressing dissent. Until the countries of West Africa set an example of how their noble ancestry has benefitted them, then you need to focus on what Blacks need to …………….You and all of your preaching are probably descended from the tribes that sold their captives to the white slave hunters.

Nice post. I think everything that needs to be said was said here. Your response was cogent, accurate and obliterates the erroneous and very tired Afro-nationalistic bombastic silliness. It reminds me of the racist altiloquence of Skinheads, Neo-Nazis and Aryan Nation schizoids. Their race baiting blather is the law and the end all. And anyone how disagrees is a white race traitor and hater. Same goes for the cacophonous Afro-nudniks and their self hate or being ignorant of self accusations if someone has an opinion that contradicts theirs. So sad…..

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A child deserves to be given every chance to succeed in life, and names are a brand. Of course it isn't fair to judge a person by his or her name, but life is not fair. Haven't black folks learned by now that there is no justice in this world???? Enuff with the poly-syllabic tongue-twisters replete with apostrophes. Stop using your child to indulge your whims.

I could not have said it better. It's depressing to see misguided ignorant Negroes believing they are being different by giving their children poly-syllabic nonsensical names you would expect from a juvenile (certainly not an adult). It seems the reality of the potential stigma of such pernicious names is beyond their mental grasp. As you said, they are too busy indulging in their doltish whims. And I also agree with your comment, "Those who want to venerate and celebrate their African origins should, perhaps, return to the Motherland to avoid frustration." The American Negroes who have these Afro fantasizes and daydreams would do best by going to the so-called Motherland so they may act out their race frustrations and actualize their uber Afro-nicity. A jolting reality check won't be far behind…..

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