Perspectives on Race

A Discussion about Events Concerning Race

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last semester in one of my classes we were assigned a simple exercise of introducing ourselves to other class mates on the first day of class. I went to a group of black girls and introduced myself and they did the same. One of the girls introduced herself as Lauren which i distinctly remember because thats the same name as my best friend. Later on during the semester the other girls keep on calling her, ShayShay. I was confused since i was calling her lauren for so long. I finally asked if that was even her name, her response in some sense really hurt my feelings. She said she tells the white girls who dont look like they would remember her nick name that her name is Lauren. What i didnt understand was why did i look too stupid to remember her shayshay. Was it because i was white and thats a nick name i didnt commonly hear? I never confronted her with the situation but i still would like the understand her reasoning to why she gives herself another name to those who dont look they would remember her real one.

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Written by mzarandy1

October 23, 2009 at 7:53 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. I don’t think your classmate purposely changed her name to insult you in any way, maybe while she was growing up she noticed that some people were unable to pronounce her name correctly so she uses a middle name or a nick name that makes it easier for others to pronounce. A lot of people have a hard time pronouncing my last name and it can get a little annoying having to correct everyone on how it should be pronounced. I think she uses the other name just to save her all the trouble of having to correct people on the right pronunciation of her name.

    3graffiti

    October 24, 2009 at 4:29 am

  2. In high school there was a girl named Shaneka, and when she applied for jobs and college, she used her middle name, which if I’m not mistaken, was Michelle (not positive, it was 7 years ago, but it was close to that). She did this because she thought employers and universities would respond better to a “more white sounding” name.
    That is what this story reminds me of, maybe that was the motivation behind it.

    kmurph2688

    October 24, 2009 at 10:49 pm


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