“I’m a young black woman with what you would call a ‘ghetto’ name. I’d have no problem with my name if it weren’t for the fact that for my entire life, white people have made fun of me. I’ve been made fun of by teachers, even professors in college when they call out my name. I’ve had people tell me, ‘You seem like such a good person, though — I can’t believe you have such a ghetto name.’ People have said my parents made a huge mistake. I’ve had hiring managers tell me that they would hire me only on the condition that I ‘shorten’ my name for the customers.
“My name is Laquita, so it really isn’t even complicated. Anyway, I’m tired of it all.
“The problem with this is telling my family — I have no idea why my mother gave me this name. I feel like it’s a curse. So how do I tell her that I’m doing this without offending her? Do you think it’s the right choice, or am I ‘giving up’?”
Honestly, my first reaction when I read your question was, “Go for it. If your mother loves the name so much, tell her she can have it.”
But treating this dilemma as if it has a quick fix strips your question of all the complicated background that compelled you ask it. Plus, something about that didn’t really sit right with me. So I gave it some more thought.