Give Up Every Vestige of Africa

and everything will be just fine…that’s one interpretation of a survey conducted by researchers seeking to quantify discrimination based on something as inocuous as a name.  Then again, if you saw the movie, Roots, you know that a name is not a little thing.  Not every African in America seeks to have an African name.  Some have embraced the names of their former slave masters.  It seems as though many, many employers are still applying this litmus test to “runaways” as a test of loyalty.

 Economists Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullainathan recently conducted a large study along these lines in the U.S., mailing out nearly 5,000 résumés after randomly assigning them black-sounding names like Jamal or Ebony or white-sounding names like Kristen or Brendan.

Not only did the “black” résumés get fewer callbacks, but employers didn’t even seem to notice whether the résumés were any good or not. They just stopped reading at “Jamal.”

Imagine the audacity of some Blacks to want African names – in America.

Imagine weighing the choice between a good Jewish name and a good German name.

That’s too easy.


  1. That means my kids are in trouble. They not only have African names but even their middle names are African. My son says he fed up having to explain to people what it means. He wishes that I’d given him an English name!!! Anyway that’s another story. It is scary how you are expected to totally milk yourself down.


  2. Your children will thank you from the depths of their hearts when they are older and capable of appreciating the gift you’ve given them. They will have a sense of pride and identity that will get them through many difficult situations. Of course, along the way they will need some supporting information and some armor because that African identity is always under attack.

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