- Jan 30, 2008
Federal Judge forbids Poor Black mothers from naming their own children
After Judge Cabreras historic ruling, little Clitoria Jackson will likely undergo a name change.
( DETROIT ) In a decision thats expected to send shockwaves through the African-American communityand yet, give much relief to teachers
everywherea federal judge ruled today that black women no longer have independent naming rights for their children. Too many black
childrenand many adultsbear names that border on not even being words, he said.
I am simply tired of these ridiculous names black women are giving their children, said U.S. Federal Judge Ryan Cabrera before rendering
his decision. Someone had to put a stop to it.
The rule applies to all black women, but Cabrera singled out
They are the worst perpetrators, he said. They put in apostrophes where none are needed. They think a Q is a must. There was a time
when Shaniqua and Tawanda were names you dreaded. Now, if youre a black girl, you hope you get a name as sensible as one of those.
Few stepped forward to defend black womenand black women themselves seemed relieved.
Its so hard to keep coming up with something unique, said Uneeqqi Jenkins, 22, an African-American mother of seven who survives on public
assistance. Her children are named Daryl, QAntity, Uhlleejsha, Cray-Ig, Fellisittee, TayShawn and DayShawndra.
Beginning in one week, at least three white people must agree with the name before a black mother can name her child.
Hopefully we can see a lot more black children with sensible names like Jake and Connor, Cabrera said. His ruling stemmed from a lawsuit brought by a 13-year-old girl whose mother created her name using Incan hieroglyphics.
She said it would make me stand out, said the girl, whose name cant be reproduced by The Peoples News technology. But its really just
The National Association of Elementary School Teachers celebrated Cabreras decision.
Oh my God, the first day of school youd be standing there sweating,looking at the list of names wondering How do I pronounce
QJQSha.? said Joyce Harmon, NAEST spokeswoman. Is this even English?
The practice of giving black children outlandish names began in the 1960s, when blacks were getting in touch with their African roots, said
historian Corlione Vest. But even he admits it got out of hand.
I have a niece whos six. Im embarrassed to say I cant even pronounce her name, said Vest, a professor at Princeton University .
Whenever I want to talk to her, I just wait until she looks at me andthen I wave her over.
Cabreras ruling exempted black men because so few of them are actually involved in their childrens lives.