black children (ashey elbows)*What’s in a name? Everything.

When a white employer picks up a resume and sees the name “LaQuanda Jackson,” chances are he will toss it in the trash without thinking twice (qualifications won’t matter).

Black people, you can be an ivy league, high-achieving graduate and scholar, find the cure for cancer and rescue an entire white family (and their dog) from a burning building—but when push comes to shove, you remain a Negro. In order to survive the odds (because trying to beat them is a waste of time), you must make the proper adjustments and play the white man’s game.

(For example) Black parents, the names you give your children will have more of an impact on their lives than you can imagine. First impressions make a world of difference—if an employer, teacher, patrolman or any non-black professional comes across a name that sounds “ghetto” in nature, the likelihood of discrimination against the person given that name will increase exponentially. It behooves black people wanting success in the white man’s world to embrace his culture (including birth-names, traditions, style of dress, religion, etc.)

I venture to say that Pres. Obama would not have been elected to political office if his name were “DeAndre,” “TyQuan,” or “LeShawn.” Black people can’t change the slave names we inherit from our forefathers (provided legal action isn’t taken). However, we can stop handicapping our children with urbanized forenames. Sisters, when naming your children, you must see beyond personal desire and embrace the bigger picture—intergenerational prosperity. There’s no guarantee your child(ren) will play professional sports or break into show business—they must have names that won’t scare employers and universities away or attract police attention. The neutrality of names like “Timothy, John, Paul, Ashley, Kimberly, etc.” will provide future generations with greater advantage in the corporate sector (or at the very least, get them inside the door for an interview with a respectable employer).

Let’s strive for more than McDonalds and Burger King. Give the ghetto names a rest.

Based in Southern California,  Cory A. Haywood is also a certified personal fitness trainer. Contact him via:[email protected] and/or visit his websites:

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