Ok I realize that this will be a touchy topic, but I have to go there because the situation has gotten way out of hand. People have been giving their kids creative names since the beginning of time, and Black Americans are probably at the top of the food chain on this issue. First, I want to say that no one has the right to tell parents what to name their kids. Each of us has an opinion on what names sound “ghetto” or “foolish” and which ones don’t. There are also names that are attributed to Black American culture that are pleasant to the ears and very unique. Again, this is subjective, but what happens when the names get well…. a little too “creative?” I will be the first to admit that there are some names that irk me and that I think are just too stereotypical. But then there are also names that are just flat out ridiculous! Naming kids after car models, alcoholic drinks and brand names of various consumer products just isn’t cool. Nor is it cultural. Ethnic names still have a meaning! They are rooted in other languages and dialects. Many of the Black American names are not ethnic at all. They are simply the result of someone trying too hard to be creative, or maybe even the effects of the epidural during childbirth… Just kidding. Recently, I’ve heard some names that are so outrageous that I had to pick up my jaw from the ground! I’ve seen punctuation marks, phrases and even a name after a deadly disease! What’s next? Emoticons? Text language? Dinosaurs…? Do these folks realize that their kids will one day become adults and will have to fill out a scholarship and/or job application? I don’t agree with name discrimination, but it’s a reality beyond our control. I have spoken to several individuals who have seen resumes tossed into the trash can because of these types of names, regardless of how impressive they may have been. Why? Because in many people’s minds, they already have the story figured out. For example, the name “Lamikashika” indicates some gum-smacking girl from the “hood” with a rainbow-colored weave who speaks Ebonics and has more than one baby’s daddy (I hate that term). Come on folks… Now, I’m not saying that names have to be “proper” and acceptable by the western world’s standards, just not unbelievable and laughable. I also want to point out that it’s not solely Black Americans who are giving these names to their children. We can be much more responsible than this when naming the next generation.
Now for the more spiritual and Biblical perspective…
When you name your kids, you are in fact speaking into their destiny and making a declaration over their lives. Have you ever noticed how in most cases, people seem to fit the meaning of their names? All throughout the Bible, we hear names and their meanings are often given as well. In many cases, God Himself instructed the parents on which name to give their child, and in some cases He even changed some people’s names. So when a child is given a name with a negative meaning, there is a high probability that the child will somehow live up to it. We forget that words have so much power! When we pray and make
declarations, those words are released into the atmosphere! This is demonstrated especially in the books of Psalms and Proverbs. The same goes for a person’s name being spoken. I imagine that most people desire a great future for their children, but many are ignorant and unaware that they are giving their kids names that will ultimately be a hindrance to them. Spiritually speaking, names like the ones I’m referring to are actually word curses. For the most part, these types of names have a spirit of poverty and ignorance attached to them. However, in the grand scheme of things, if Boomquisha is truly a daughter of the Most High then she will have favor in spite of her name. But why give her another obstacle to overcome? As a lady friend of mine says, let’s “speak life” over our children. Their names are supposed to declare who God created them to be. Their names should not be a curse but a blessing pronounced over their lives.