Would you trade your ethnic name for something more neutral? That’s what a biracial teen from Kansas City did after years of being teased over her name.
According to Kansas City Star reports:
When her mother, Cristy, found out she was pregnant with a girl, there was never a doubt what her baby’s name would be. The single mom chose Keisha because to her, it represented a strong, feminine, beautiful black woman. As a white woman who would be raising a biracial daughter she wanted to instill that confidence and connectivity to the culture.
“I saw it as a source of pride,” Cristy says. “I wanted her to have that.”
Unfortunately it wasn’t so simple for Keisha, who has since legally changed her name to Kylie…
Remember that scene in the Oscar-winning “Crash,” when the disgruntled client asks the hard-as-nails supervisor of health insurance claims what her name is? She says “Shaniqua,” and he says, “Big surprise, that is.”
That’s the kind of stuff Keisha deals with. She didn’t grow up in a diverse community. She wasn’t surrounded by a lot of black people. And as she got older, her name started to become a source of jokes. Kids would ask her if there was a “La” or a “Sha” in front of her name. There was a hint of racism and ignorance embedded in their comments.
“It’s like they assumed that I must be a certain kind of girl,” she says. “Like, my name is Keisha so they think they know something about me, and it always felt negative.”
Even a teacher once asked if there was a dollar sign in her name, like the singer Ke$ha. If she couldn’t even get through a class without a teacher taking a cheap shot at her name, what would happen in a job interview?
Poor thang! Those mean white people ain’t isht!
“It’s not something I take lightly,” she says, tears flooding down her freckled face. “I put a lot of thought into it. I don’t believe you should just change your name or your face or anything like that on a whim. I didn’t want to change my name because I didn’t like it. I wanted to change my name because it didn’t feel comfortable. I don’t connect to it. I didn’t feel like myself, but I never want any girls named Keisha, or any name like that, to feel hurt or sad by it.”
Damn shame. It sounds like poor “Kylie” needed a change of scenery more than a name change if you ask us.
What do you think? Should she have stuck with the name her mom picked?