I’ll just call you something simpler instead

January 14, 2016


Frededreia Willis

Frededreia Willis

Staff Reporter | kfw005@ latech.edu 


Can you repeat that first name for me? Ah, can you spell it one more time? Just to be sure, there are two Ds…right? This is an all too normal process I have to commit to when introducing myself.


In five months I will be celebrating my 7,665th day on earth and that number is in deep comparison with how many times I have been asked to pronounce, repeat and or spell my first name.


During my reign as “Frededreia” I have often been told that my name is “too black” and would probably be the reason for a result such as a trashed resume or missed job opportunity.


I often wonder if I would even be the same bubbly, outgoing and overly imaginative person I am today, if I was given a name such as Brittany, Elizabeth or Meagan.


Or would I be dumped into the pit of *inserts characteristics of a societal Brittany, Elizabeth or Meagan.*


Working at a coffee shop back home, I remember being invited to a lunch date with some friends, whom I told I was bringing my other friend along – Candice.


When she and I walked up to the table, I received a text message saying, “You didn’t tell us ole girl was white.” The name Candice is mentioned in the book of Acts in the New Testament of the Bible.


It was derived from the Cushitic word “Kdke” which means “queen mother. But who cares where the name comes from? It is, now, widely associated with the black community. So, does that mean the name is losing it’s value because it’s being sprinkled with a little blackness?


No kidding, my friend group back in high school was composed of a Jocinda, Shavashanique, La’Sherika and a La’Tyreneka (Rest on my good friend).


I’m not sure what you call a group African Americans with hard-to-pronounce names, but I do not believe the term should be “ghetto.” Interesting? Maybe. Different? A little better. Lovely? Okay, I am pushing it, but my point is how come my name, Frededreia Lar-Nae gets labeled as ghetto, but an Indian ex-classmate of mine, Deepanjan, gets labeled as “cultural”?


Yes, I have came across some names where I have wondered what on God’s green earth the mother was trying to spell.


Truth is, we all have ghetto in us in some way or fashion, since Webster defines the word as a part of a city in which members of a particular group or race lives, specifically the poorest part.


P.S. I’ve spelled out my name three times in column and you still can’t spell it.





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