Tue, 24 August 2004, 6:34 am
I find this 20/20 report to be really fascinating on name discrimination. I already have my own name complex but this is truly startling. The report had African-Americans with black sounding names like Shenequa put their exact same resume on Monster under a white sounding name like Jennifer. The report found 17% more response to the resumes with white sounding names. Furthermore, the anecdotes from the survey participants tell of multiple callbacks to the white sounding name vs. next to none for their own. The story goes on to discuss whether African-Americans should begin to name their children more often with white sounding names.
Personally I’m very torn. Growing up with my own unique name I wore it as a badge of courage. It caused me to have fortitude where others just didn’t have to worry about it. However, that didn’t stop me from naming my kids MUCH more simply – Mason and Anna. For all parents that go with unique names consider that you are giving your child another challenge that they wouldn’t have had. Make sure to use that to educate your child on how to overcome adversity, because there are harder things in life than your name.