1702hu.St.81

19-year-old Keisha Austin, from Kansas City, Missouri, will now and forever be known as Kylie Austin.  Kylie’s mother, Cristy, chose the name Keisha because it represented a strong, beautiful black woman and she wanted to instill confidence and culture in her.

“I saw it as a source of pride,” Cristy says. “I wanted her to have that.”

But a source of pride isn’t what “Kylie” received growing up with Keisha as her name.

In an interview with The Kansas City Star, Kylie explains how growing up in a mostly white area made her resent her name because of the racist comments she would always receive.

From The Kansas City Star:

“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?

The more she shared these stories with her mom, the more it became apparent that Keisha was serious about changing her name — not different from the way some Jewish people change their last names to avoid anti-Semitism and Asians sometimes take traditionally American names in addition to their given names.

Not everyone was in agreement with Keisha changing her name. A friend suggested that she could keep her name, and show people she’s not a stereotype. Even Keisha’s mother felt saddened by the name change.

“It felt like a gift I gave to her, and she was returning it,” Cristy says. “Keisha was the only name I ever thought of, and when I talked to her in my belly, I talked to Keisha. But she’s still the same person, regardless of her name. But her happiness is what is most important to me. I love and support her, and whatever she has to do to feel good on the inside, I have to be OK with that.”

As of a week ago, and $175 later, Keisha is now Kylie Austin.

Kylie, though?

One has to wonder if the name change was more of a self-esteem issue, rather than being teased about a name. There have been many times when I hated my name growing up as a kid, but that was because people wouldn’t pronounce it correctly. And then there was that song “Iesha”, by Another Bad Creation. I still can’t introduce myself to anyone without them mentioning that song. But did it ever dawn on me to change my name? Never. My parents gave me the name for a reason.

I hope in changing her name to Kylie, Keisha realizes that the ability to purchase a new name is easy, but self-esteem and pride can’t be bought, but that’s just my opinion.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kagnie.renae Kagnie Renae

    It if it makes her feel better, who are we to judge?

  • https://www.facebook.com/kagnie.renae Kagnie Renae

    It if it makes her feel better, who are we to judge?

  • https://www.facebook.com/kagnie.renae Kagnie Renae

    It if it makes her feel better, who are we to judge?

  • https://www.facebook.com/absolutaries Kimberly Calvert-Lehman

    I know a woman who goes by her middle name because her ethic first name has caused her grief personally and professionally. You gotta do what you gotta do.

  • https://www.facebook.com/lynn.clayton1 Clayton Lynn

    Poor thing.

  • https://www.facebook.com/tiffany.fonvillehorton Tiffany Fonville-Horton

    I wouldn’t knock her for wanting to change her name…only she has to live with it…as a parent I’d feel sad that you didn’t like the name I chose for them….not everyone likes their names and “ethnic” names some times hold negative prejudices kids get mocked teachers prejudge employers prejudge is it right no but it is what it is…just like calling your kid inspector pilot leaves the door open to ridicule…a name represents you and often its the first impression people have of you before they actually meet you

  • https://www.facebook.com/tiffany.fonvillehorton Tiffany Fonville-Horton

    I wouldn’t knock her for wanting to change her name…only she has to live with it…as a parent I’d feel sad that you didn’t like the name I chose for them….not everyone likes their names and “ethnic” names some times hold negative prejudices kids get mocked teachers prejudge employers prejudge is it right no but it is what it is…just like calling your kid inspector pilot leaves the door open to ridicule…a name represents you and often its the first impression people have of you before they actually meet you

  • https://www.facebook.com/tiffany.fonvillehorton Tiffany Fonville-Horton

    I wouldn’t knock her for wanting to change her name…only she has to live with it…as a parent I’d feel sad that you didn’t like the name I chose for them….not everyone likes their names and “ethnic” names some times hold negative prejudices kids get mocked teachers prejudge employers prejudge is it right no but it is what it is…just like calling your kid inspector pilot leaves the door open to ridicule…a name represents you and often its the first impression people have of you before they actually meet you

  • https://www.facebook.com/tamarcharmaine Tamar Charmaine Paoli

    The thing is she is still black unfortunately especially where she lives she will always be judged before she opens her mouth….I grew up not liking my name but now I’m in love with my name, my mother when she became an American citizen made her nickname that was easier to pronounce her middle name so she could legally be called her nick name but she kept her 1st name

  • https://www.facebook.com/tamarcharmaine Tamar Charmaine Paoli

    The thing is she is still black unfortunately especially where she lives she will always be judged before she opens her mouth….I grew up not liking my name but now I’m in love with my name, my mother when she became an American citizen made her nickname that was easier to pronounce her middle name so she could legally be called her nick name but she kept her 1st name

  • https://www.facebook.com/iya.jide Iyah Jide

    She can change her name but she can’t change the African blood she has running through her body.

  • https://www.facebook.com/sweetamberkisses Jihan Gigi Ward

    I dont think it has anything to do with her skin color or wanting to feel “less black,” but the sad part is, names that are “ghetto” or ethic can bring unwarranted prejudices. I’ve seen it, people will look at a resume and if the name can’t be pronounced ir even remotely appears ethnic, arab or something like that, it gets thrown in the trash. My name is Arabic, and it’s beautiful, but people have told me at work that they already had this image of me wearing some headpiece or something before even meeting me. Ignorance isnt always bliss!

  • https://www.facebook.com/sweetamberkisses Jihan Gigi Ward

    When I have kids, I will make it one of my duties NOT to name my kids any ghetto names at all!

  • https://www.facebook.com/Neenay Lanee Foster

    I had a friend in middle school named Keesha who was white…

  • https://www.facebook.com/kee.sha.31 Kee Sha

    I love my name. I don’t care what anyone thinks. I would never change it. Any opportunity i loose because of it is not meant for me.

  • https://www.facebook.com/lolacreque Lola Rosa

    Keisha just isn’t a bad name to me….not when I see Shaqueasha, Shaquida, and Shatisha (actual names of people who were in the military with me). Like the author said, she can change her name but if it is related to esteem of herself then she got a long ways to go.

  • https://www.facebook.com/Janae.Arceneaux Michaela Janae

    Maybe her mother knew a strong Black woman named Keisha. Names that are viewed as “ghetto” sometimes have actual ethnic origins such as Tanisha or Aisha.

  • https://www.facebook.com/audetteamy Amy Nadine Audette

    That’s weak. I hate how people are too lazy to pronounce someone’s name or accept it. She shouldn’t had felt compelled to accommodate people who looked down on her for her already beautiful name.

  • https://www.facebook.com/audetteamy Amy Nadine Audette

    That whole telling someone they have a ghetto name shows how much racism is embedded and still accepted in America. Sigh.

  • https://www.facebook.com/audetteamy Amy Nadine Audette

    HIWOT ADILOW — NAME

    i’m am tired of people asking me to smooth my name out for them

    they want me to bury it in the english so they can understand.

    i will not accommodate the word for mouth

    i will not break my name so your lazy english can sleep its tongue on top.

    fix your lips around it.

    no, you can’t give me a stupid nickname to replace this gift of five letters.

    try to pronounce it before you write me off as

    lil one

    afro

    the ethiopian jawn

    or any other poor excuse of a name you’ve baptized me with in your weakness.

    my name is insulted that you won’t speak it

    my name is a jealous god

    i kneel my english down everyday and offer my begging and broken amharic

    to be accepted by this lord from my parents’ country

    this is my religion

    you are tainting it

    everytime you call me something else you break it and kick it

    you think you’re being clever by turning my name into a cackle?

    hewhat? hewhy? when how he what who?

    he did whaaaat?

    my name is not a joke

    this is more than wind and the clack of a consonant.

    my father handed me this heavy burden of five letters decades before i was born

    with letters, he tried to snatch his ethiopia back from the middle of a red terror.

    he tried to overthrow a fascist.

    he was thrown into prison

    ran out of his home.

    my name is a frantic attempt to save a country

    it is a preserved connection

    the only line i have leading me to a place i’ve never been.

    it is a boat

    a plane

    a vessel carrying me to earth i’ve never felt

    i speak myself closer and closer to ethiopia by wrapping myself in this name

    this is my country in ink

    my name is the signature at the end of the last letter before the army comes

    it is the only music left in the midst of torture and fear

    it is the air that filled my father’s lungs when he was released from prison

    the inhale that ushers in beginning

    my name is a poem

    my father wrote it over and over again

    it is the lullaby that sends his homesickness to bed

    i refuse to break myself into dust for people too weak to carry my name in their mouths

    take two syllables of your time to pronounce this song of mine

    it means life

    you shouldn’t treat a breath as carelessly as this.

    cradle my name between your lips as delicately as it deserves

    it’s Hiwot

    say it right.

  • https://www.facebook.com/KHBrown Karimahgenerouslife Aiesha

    Alright alright HIWOT! Shout out to my Ethiopian homie Nansenet!

  • https://www.facebook.com/robin.taylor.1865 Robin Taylor

    I didn’t know Keisha was a “black name” I thought it had it roots in Arabic (Ashia or Aisha) or Hebrew (keza or Kezia)

    I think we take power away when we change our names to accommodate white people or western prejudices.

    It’s time for people to conform to the world not have the world conform to them.
    I wouldn’t have changed anything she will regret her decision one day

  • https://www.facebook.com/quinnette.free Quinnette E. Free

    It is not about having respect for those names, it is about having respect for yourself, says Quinnette who has never had a problem.

  • http://thefusionchronicles.com Stephanie Marie

    Since when did “Keisha” become a “black” name?? I’ve known a few white women with that name but I digress. So many bi-racial/multi-racial kids struggle with identity but it makes me wondered what this girl has endured to actually go through with changing her name. The reality is that it doesn’t matter if her name is Kylie, Misty or Tammy Lynn…the world will still see her as Black.

  • https://www.facebook.com/quinnette.free Quinnette E. Free

    I have a friend named Ayesha, who is a tiny blonde from England. I have met a number of blacks in high powered positions with Keshia or LaShawn, but on their resumes they went to UPA or Harvard. To have a chance you need an education anyway.

  • http://gravatar.com/sblazer227 sblazer227

    kinda pathetic

  • ms. information

    proof that black men will sleep with anything…

  • https://www.facebook.com/simplyluscious L Upjumpsthe Boogie

    I don’t think this young lady changing her name means that she doesn’t respect herself. In fact I’m really blown that so many people are shocked that she chose to change her name. That’s great that you’ve never had problems with your name but the truth of the matter is, lots of people have. I’m well aware that some of these names have Arabic origin, which brings me to my next point. We African Americans are a lost people. We deny our roots and take on those of others. All of these women would have taken the time and effort to look up an African name, a Biblical name, or hell named their daughter Oprah but no they chose to give their daughter a name that further detaches them and their child from the African roots. No matter how you slice it, ghetto names carry a negative connotation. That is a stigma that no child should have to carry. Parents want the best for their children. If you want the best for your kid, start them off in life with a name they can be proud of and not one that they are ashamed of.

  • TuttiFrutti

    Unless we’ve walked in her shoes and endured the teasing, rejection, prejudgment, etc. it is easy to say what we would or wouldn’t do. She lives in a community where “Becky” is probably more acceptable than Keisha. I wonder how “Apple” Paltrow would fare in that community?

  • Orange Starr Happy Hunting

    yep

  • Eyes Wide Shut

    True story

    I had a black classmate years ago that has a name that many whites considered “uniquely black” or “ethnic”…….I kid you not.

    Joke was on them when she explained that her name traces back to ancient Rome (unless many people equate Roman with “ethnic”)

    She wan’t the only one with a name from antiquity. I guess many people aren’t well versed with history (especially modern era whites).

    Yeah, I went there.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nikolproductions GenesiaWilliams

    As much as I want her to only be filled with pride or whatever, I think it’s unfair, to say that this decision possibly came from low self esteem. She said why she changed her name, she didn’t want the hassle, any unstated reasons are hers to have, not ours to judge. She had to do what she felt like she had to do. And maybe for Kylie, she will come full circle and be able to embrace the Keisha. But maybe not. It’s not ours to say.

  • Missy D

    The fact that her Mother thought a name like “Keisha” represented a strong Black Woman says a lot. Her Mother could have researched an actual African name or maybe even named her after a famous Black Woman. Instead she chose to give her daughter a name that is going to set her up for failure. I’ve met many Black Females that go by a middle name or maybe a shortened version of their name rather than tell people what their actual “stereotypical hood” name is. Let’s be honest, how much respect can you have a Quinnetta or Kokeela? (actual names of females I know). I don’t really look down on this young lady for changing her name because I’ve always wondered how people who hood names who aren’t hood at all truely feel about the name they’ve been given. *Sidenote, very interesting how there is no mention of her Father.

  • https://www.facebook.com/ericka.fields Ericka Fields

    Changing your name doesn’t necessarily changes people perception of you. I know white people name Keisha, Jada, Kaiya,…and Queneisha(mom calls her Neisha). All of those women are proud of their names and I have never asked why their mom’s named them their given names??? It doesn’t matter when you have self esteem and confidence. Can’t let the insensitive comments from others make you feel uncomfortable. I wonder if she knew the meaning of her name “Keisha”???

  • https://www.facebook.com/shanara.sanders Shanara MouthPeace Sanders

    @Hiwot I love your poem. Wish I’d wrote it myself. Attempting to say someone’s name correctly is good old-fashioned respect.

  • https://www.facebook.com/shanara.sanders Shanara MouthPeace Sanders

    @Hiwot I love your poem. Wish I’d wrote it myself. Attempting to say someone’s name correctly is good old-fashioned respect.

  • Anthony

    I wish the kid well. Bigots are still going too see a black girl’s face when they look at her, so Kylie better understand that the struggle is not over.

  • http://twitter.com/KatchKenda °sunshyne° (@KatchKenda)

    Ok, she changed her name, now what? The world will still her as a Black woman. Even if she is biracial. Look at our President. I have never heard a white person call him a white man. Ever. Name change or not, she cannot change the skin that she is in. And, that seems to be the bigger issue.

  • https://www.facebook.com/briana.atkins.7 Briana Atkins

    I feel bad for her but I think she should have stuck with it until high school was over and she went to college (if she’s going to college in a couple of months then fine) – unless she’s going to a different high school than the kids teasing her….because when she gets back to school….they are going to tease her relentlessly because she changed her name and they are still going to call her Keisha -yes kids will do that because they are assholes- so hopefully she toughens up because she has another problem she’ll have to deal with

  • http://gravatar.com/geenababe geenababe

    This is the stereotypical story of what happens to mix kids. I don’t know if the father is still present in this girl’s life but this is how it breaks down usually. You have a non-black mother who has some relationship with a black man they produce a child and the relationship ends after that. Then the mother moves closer to her family which usually in a majority white place. I have seen this many times Never shows their mix child their other side or care to educate them about it. Put them in an environment where they are not received well and set them up to have identity issues for life. These people don’t realize that when you have mix kids you have to go the extra mile that you wouldn’t have to for kids of the same race. You have to teach them about both their sides, expose them to both their sides, and instill some self- esteem in them. Like many mix race parents are mother wasn’t prepare or even think about the challenges her daughter would face.

  • Anthony

    @greenababe, well said!

  • donnadara

    I’m sad. I think that “ethnic-sounding” names speak to a pride in your heritage. I have an African name but most people can’t tell the difference between my name and made-up names. I like my name, because if people refuse to pronounce it correctly, it tells me what I need to know about them. I think she wants to change her skin along with her name. Being Kylie may get her a few more interviews, but if the interviewer is a bigot, she won’t get the job anyway.

  • https://www.facebook.com/Ms.Love.Le Lisa Le BeautyPro

    The things we do to conform, smh. Good luck with that lol. I know too many white Keishas and Indian Tanisha, Neesha, Aisha’s but okay. All races have names we can’t pronounce but if it belongd to a black person it is automatically ghetto? Oh okay.

  • https://www.facebook.com/veteq83 Frank Williams

    “What’s in a name? that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

  • Wale Adeyemi

    “Kylie’s mother, Cristy, chose the name Keisha because it represented a strong, beautiful black woman and she wanted to instill confidence and culture in her.”

    ^^^ This is probably the worst thing you can do yo a half caste person that’s going to grow up in a white community. They’re already at odds with themselves and their identity, last thing they need is a “Black” name when they are clearly Biracial. Americans should stop including half castes as Black. It just doesn’t work. In Africa we identity them correctly, we call them Half castes or Point fives… It’s not considered rude either..It’s just what they are. It would be insulting to call a half cast person Black..Why not call them White?

    Things like this can be avoided in America if you would just stop the one drop rule mentality. It’s a primitive idea created by primitive racists. let it go. Be black and let them be half caste. Don’t force it.

  • Tina

    If it’s not one thing it’s another and looking at her and her mom, the struggle will likely continue for her. I understand what she’s saying but her feelings seem really tender if popular references to the name Keisha influenced her decision.

    Almost any name can solicit teasing. I recall when the DeLaSoul song Jennifer, Oh Jenny was out – it had a line about Jenny being known as a garden tool (followed by a yell of HO!!). We used to sing the song everytime we saw a girl we went to school with named Jennifer. I recall the same types of incidents who shared their names with songs.

    What’s she going to do when someone makes a song about Kylie the ho or there’s a new brand of meth called Kylie?

  • PrettyinAllColors

    As a black woman names Kiesha, I empathize with her. I jokingly tell friends that I plan to change my name…but you now what they say about jokes, most of the time there’s some thruth to them. I’m 25 and so tired of the side eyes and smart remarks from men and sometimes professionals assuming that I’m a freak/hoe or had a hard knock life growing up/from the ghetto respectively. It’s sad that a name can carry such negative stereotypes. but what can we say when we grow up hearing “Kiesha smoking on Kiesha” or “freak-a-leek…sameeka, KIESHA”…etc or evey other rap song (exaggeration but it’s very prevalent). You can be the total opposite of a stereotype in all facets of your life, but it doesn’t make the stigma go away…

  • Tracy

    Yea, I bet he ain’t around either

  • Kam

    No the world will not see her as Black. Americans are not the world. And increasingly in America her mixture as Black/White will just be seen as biracial. My view is to let people identify as biracial. Stop forcing them to be Black.

  • Kam

    So those women are fighting for this country alongside you and you still have something to say about their name?

  • April

    I agree. It can be hard to be a parent and realize that there are things you can’t give your kids or things you can’t relate to them on. But if you’re the white parent of mixed kids, you have to accept that truth and you have to make sure that gap is being filled somehow.

    The honest truth is that no matter how much I read or how diverse my friends are, I will never know what it’s like to be a black woman or to grow up as a black girl. But I know lot’s of people who do and I make sure they’re part of my kids’ lives.

    One of the surprising things to me about this story is that they’re from Kansas City – that’s a fairly diverse place, but they still live in a mostly white area? I’m from further South than they are and in a less diverse area, but I can still make sure my kids go to diverse schools and live in diverse neighborhoods.

  • http://gravatar.com/geenababe geenababe

    such negative stereotypes. but what can we say when we grow up hearing “Kiesha smoking on Kiesha” or “freak-a-leek…sameeka, KIESHA”…etc or evey other rap song (exaggeration but it’s very prevalent). You can be the total opposite of a stereotype in all facets of your life, but it doesn’t make the stigma go away
    —————————————————————
    Lol that song he said my name and it is pretty basic.

  • Magnolia

    Kiesha isn’t a horrible name. I actually see a much larger issue here surrounding self-esteem and making sure your mixed-race child has exposure to all aspects of themselves. Her mother gave her that name proudly but may have missed the mark on the whole cultural education front. I’m not even going to blame the mother…Where was her father’s family? For me, it would be the same if she was half-Latina and had a very obvious Spanish sounding first name like Guadalupe or Esmeralda. I know a few women named Keesha/Kiesha/LaKeesha and they’re professionals: 2 doctors/ 1 vet. They’re just fine. A name change isn’t going to make your problems disappear.

    Side comment: Kylie just sounds so immature and babyish to me… Just my opinion. I wonder what her middle name is or if she has one. If she was going to change her name and going for a more ‘professional’ sounding name for the future, I don’t think this hit the mark.

  • http://gravatar.com/ceecollegegal CeeCee

    That is crazy. I can’t imagine changing my name just because people don’t like it. Who cares what people don’t like about you; people will always find something to complain about. Next they will be talking about her hair…nose…freckles…or etc. You can’t continually alter yourself just to appease random individuals.

  • iforgotitall

    You know what, if something as easy as changing a name helps my childs life, then of course I would do it.

    I don’t want my kid to have to fight for larger racial injustices with their childhood. I would rather do that for her. But if her life is filled with less taunting and jokes if she is named Kylie, then so be it.

    Dealing with the name callers should be on me.

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    Wow! I honestly don’t know how I feel about this topic I get that certain names can be hurdle to jump over in life especially if you have so called “ethnic” name but I don’t think changing your name is going to magically solve your problems especially if you are dealing with racists because they are going to find something to judge you on whether your name is Keisha or Kylie. I have a “white person” name and trust me I see some people’s shock register when I am present or raise my hand, so a name may get you in the door but it doesn’t change people’s reaction to you. As the saying goes…a rose by any other name is still a rose. I get why she did it but I think this is a slippery slope because if it is not the name, it is going to be her nose is she going to get a nose job if these same people taunt and tease her about it or her adorable freckles.

  • Roses

    It can BUT the work will speak for itself! And you will learn how to properly pronounce my name…Look we already have strikes against us from birth: Black Female/Male…If we’re not going to allow anyone to put restrictions on us for that, I’m not going to feel restricted because of my name…I cant change my skin, so damn sure not going to change my name….My children if I’m blessed to have any, will have names like mine and they will be just fine ;)

  • https://www.facebook.com/yolanda.stanislas Yolanda Stanislas

    What is wrong with keisha?? I am so sick of head cases!!

  • https://www.facebook.com/yolanda.stanislas Yolanda Stanislas

    What is wrong with keisha?? I am so sick of head cases!!

  • http://gravatar.com/niknique starr

    THis is a toughy…..i have a ethnic first name (keisha is actually half of my name :/), my middle name isn’t ethnic, i don’t think, and yes i have thought about changing it, but I can’t bring myself to it. I have the issue this girl had, people will see my name and have perceptions about me. I’ve had people say, your nothing like what i would think you would be, and on and on. So i understand. And I’m a black girl in brooklyn, so i imagine how she feels being mixed in a mostly white town.

  • LaToya

    Well my first name is LaToya and my name was always made fun of growing up. I would always have people calling me LaToya Jackson instead of my actual last name. Sometimes people call me Latosha or latonya. So what i would do is not answer when they would say my name wrong and they would correctly say my name. This is more of a self esteem issue than name teasing. She could have renamed herself Kim, Kimberly, Candice, but she went all the way to the other sided and came up with Kylie. When you see Kylie, you automatically think white girl.

  • joe

    I wonder how black women who have white moms feel when their “sisters” have such nasty things to say about their mothers.

  • RJ

    I feel bad for the mother because she seems to be aware and was proactive and tried to give her the tools she would need to be a healthy black woman.

    While I do not have an black centric name (first name German/spanish, middle name french) i just think your name is something that is a part of you, like your dna.’

    Oh well. White supremacy, the viral stain that continues to linger.

  • RJ

    This girl is light skinned and looks like alot of black women who are not biracial. There is nothing obvious about her race.

    My suspension is that she does not want to be seen as black and would like to be a racial unicorn. The name, in her mind, is an indicator of blackness. That is what she is running from.

  • RJ

    @greenababe. You are so on point. Halle Berry often tells the story of her mother moving her girls to a black neighorhood so that they would see themselves. She also sought mentors for her daughters and Halle Berry often mentions one of her teachers, a black woman, as another mother figure.

    While, Halle Berry may still have issues rooted in coming from a broken home, she clearly does not have identity issues.

  • http://gravatar.com/rahmadclark Zanabee

    I dislike the name Kylie it is a typical low class “white” name…*sigh* I feel sorry for that girl NEEDING to assimilate into white culture that bad. Being a “Kylie” don’t make you ALL “white” though. Sorry.

  • RJ

    *suspicion* Lord I was thinking about my car!!

  • noirluv45

    When I read this story on another site, I thought of “Roots” when Kunta Kinte was being forced to be called a name master picked for him in order to erase his African heritage.

    Why must we change and not the ones who hold ignorant concepts? People are forever trying to be accepted by those who, in my opinion, have a very limited mindset, but instead of calling them out, we try to reach “up” to their nonsense.

    Name your child what you want. This young lady’s problems have nothing to do with her name, but her ethnicity. Sorry, but yesterday, they laughed at Keisha; tomorrow the simpletons will find something else. I think she’s going to be very disappointed.

    I believe we as parents have got to create strong children and not let them weaken to the masses and what’s expected from them. Too many followers and not enough leaders.

  • noirluv45

    LOL! A White woman who took care of my name was named Shawnte.

  • noirluv45

    I wouldn’t want to work for a company that simply throws away applications/resumes because of a name. That is discriminatory and should not be accepted.

    If we don’t accept racial, gender, gay/lesbian, etc discrimination, we should give in to those who want us to change because they don’t like something.

  • noirluv45

    But many people don’t care is she’s biracial just like they don’t care that president Obama has a White mother. They will see her as Black, and I believe that’s the issue with Kylie at her school. It’s not her name; it’s her “Blackness” to them.

    It appears her mother apparently raised her as Black just like Halle Berry’s mother raised her as Black.

    I do agree that people can identify the way they choose. I have no interested in making them Black.

  • noirluv45

    Again, I don’t think the issue is her name. If she changed her name to not sound “ghetto” then what’s she gonna do if they tease her about her freckles? Go get them removed.

    In life, we all, in some way or another, get mistreated. She’s gonna have to learn to deal with that and not run away simply because some nimrod teases her. I’ve been teased and bullied as well, but you can’t run or you’ll be running all your life.

    Why do we let other people own us?

  • noirluv45

    Hmmm, when I think of how we’ve been influenced to detest “ghetto” as if everyone living in the ghetto is the same way, and how names associated with “ghetto” are bad, it tells me that we’ve allowed this nonsense to stick. Instead of not giving into that mindset, we promote it.

    Not everyone living in the ghetto is a certain way. Many of them are hard working people who take pride in themselves and their surroundings. My sister has a friend who lives in Compton, and some of those houses are well-kept. She’s a school teacher and has been one for decades. She’s hardly “ghetto.”

    That makes me more sad. We’ve promoted it.

  • noirluv45

    Yeah, but your child will be running from every unpleasant thing that comes their way. Today, it’s her name; tomorrow it’s her freckles. Why don’t we teach our children to be strong and grow up? We can’t keep fighting their battles all the way through life. Life isn’t always happy.

  • Ms. Vee

    “I wonder how black women who have white moms…”

    A black person with a white parent? That does not exist my dear.

  • Wale Adeyemi

    She’s not light skinned my friend. She’s a half caste. You have to understand, I wasn’t raised in America, I don’t deal with one drop rule rubbish. A half caste is a half caste. We don’t call them Black. That’s her white mother right there next to her. Don’t run from the truth.

  • Wale Adeyemi

    I just don’t understand why African Americans will accept half castes as Black. What makes it even worse is that not only will they accept half castes but anyone that has a drop of black blood. That is so wrong and backwards to me. I know I’ll get thumbs down for this comment but don’t you think it’s time you buried the one drop rule? It is hurting you more than it’s helping you.

  • Darcy

    How much you want to bet this is more about her feeling accepted by whites and feeling less “ethnic”? It seems that although her mom seemed to want her to embrace her blackness, she probably didn’t raise her in that diverse of an area if this was her experience growing up. I never associated the name Keshia as “ghetto” personally, and perhaps people did make comments about it. I have heard of way more “ghetto” or embarrassing names.

    I just think this could be one of those cases where a biracial person would rather distance themselves from one part of themselves in order to assimilate better. I mean she went from a name typically for black girls and went to a name typically for white girls. No middle ground.

  • Dee D

    My thoughts exactly.
    Hell if I was going to change my name it would be something very unique that rolls off the tongue well not something plain as Kylie. She might as well went with Becky. Smh.

  • Guest1234

    Yeah. I don’t know why she had to go all the way to Kylie – some dumbass cheap- sounding white baby name?! Really? Homegirl is subject to a serious side-eye from me. It’s not like she went for something more adult, or professional. It seems like she’d rather be identified as white than black by any means necessary – even if she has to wear a babyish moniker. To each her own, but, seriously? Does she think changing her name is going to keep folks from identifying her as possibly black and discriminating against her accordingly? And why would anyone want to submit to a bunch of racists anyway? I will never understand.

  • omfg

    it’s just history.

    i don’t consider many mixed people as black. but, it gets complicated because there are “blacks” with two self-identified black parents who may look just like her who will cut you if you tell them they aren’t black. i put someone in like colin powell in the black category because he has two self-identified black parents.

  • omfg

    @tamar charmaine paoli

    she is not black and does not deserve the honor of being black.

    i prefer that we let people like her go.

  • http://www.dangerouslee.biz Dangerous Lee

    We accept “half castes” as Black because they are Black! Yes, they are also half of something else, but that doesn’t negate Black.

  • Say what?

    If her mother wanted to instill in her a sense of pride about her culture, she should’ve moved her to a more diverse area. That goes for any caucasian who has/adopts children from a different culture. To subject that kid to an all white neighborhood is tantamount to mental abuse, in my opinion.

  • https://plus.google.com/115826385947390491232 Bro Quietstorm

    In order for Africans here in America and around the world to overcome the self hatred, deprecation and negative conditioning we face we have to accept ALL brothers and sisters. They are NOT half-caste or any other seemingly negative word you can place on them they are African just like we are. We are their haven and they are ours.

    They cannot go anywhere in the world and be treated as complete and full beings except amongst sane, rational, empathetic, critical thinking people of African descent. They will never be accepted by whites as white no matter how much they assimilate or try to pass. Only in our communities can they proclaim being who they are and have full acceptance. That will never happen in a white world, they have to pretend to be all white.

    Our evolving into a more self loving and edifying culture and returning to the enlightening civilization we originated from is more than enough to embrace them. If you really understand the history of African peoples you would know that.

    We are the ones who can love them unconditionally and they are a permanent and valuable part of who we are.

    …the Calm before the Storm

    p.s. I am curious as to how they are hurting us? That makes no sense to me.

  • https://plus.google.com/115826385947390491232 Bro Quietstorm

    You know very little of the history of Black folks. We don’t through each other away. We are powerful, empathetic and loving folks when we are in our right frame of mind. So no, try again.

  • https://plus.google.com/115826385947390491232 Bro Quietstorm

    She doesn’t want to feel less Black but chooses a very european name? that makes no sense.

    We have to stop being apologists for those of us who suffer self-hatred, whether slightly or major. It is a cancer that is damaging.

    Learn the history of how we got our present surnames.

  • https://plus.google.com/115826385947390491232 Bro Quietstorm

    Yeah, just name them Buffy and Skip and they will live happily ever after.

    Learn the history of how we got our surnames.

  • https://plus.google.com/115826385947390491232 Bro Quietstorm

    We let Rumpelstiltskin, McKenzie and other white sounding names roll off our self deprecating and negatively conditioned tongues with no worries.

  • https://plus.google.com/115826385947390491232 Bro Quietstorm

    Please review the definition of self esteem, thank you in advance. This story is the definition of self-esteem and how others make us feel about ourselves.

  • https://plus.google.com/115826385947390491232 Bro Quietstorm

    through=throw

  • dsl

    Read the original story in the KC Star. This story is just opinion. The Star article gives a more complete picture. Just search on their site for Keisha and you’ll find it.

  • http://gravatar.com/designdiva40 paintgurl40

    So she changes her name from Keisha to Kylie on a Friday, she goes back to school on Monday and announces her name is now Kylie and that’s going to stop their teasing? Like those kids aren’t going to remember her as Keisha? Girl please! She still LOOKS black, because she doesn’t look white to me. They’ll find something else to tease her about. I think Keisha is a pretty name. I didn’t grow up in an all white neighborhood or town, so I can’t speak on how hard she has it. If her mother knew how racist the area was, why did she move her mixed child into it??

  • https://www.facebook.com/juicyfruit4u Ann Lemond-Hume

    How sad is that?….does she think those same people will treat her differently because now she’s Kylie?

  • https://www.facebook.com/veteq83 Frank Williams

    The sad part is that some people *will* treat her differently because of a different name.

  • https://www.facebook.com/juicyfruit4u Ann Lemond-Hume

    Not the same people Frank. New people who didn’t know her before as Keisha.

  • https://www.facebook.com/juicyfruit4u Ann Lemond-Hume

    Not the same people Frank. New people who didn’t know her before as Keisha.

  • https://www.facebook.com/juicyfruit4u Ann Lemond-Hume

    Not the same people Frank. New people who didn’t know her before as Keisha.

  • https://www.facebook.com/juicyfruit4u Ann Lemond-Hume

    Not the same people Frank. New people who didn’t know her before as Keisha.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kae.rich.9 Kae Rich

    Our names do carry preconceived notions. Black sounding names or any name that’s a little too ethnic does have negative connotations attached to it unfortunately. The sooner we figure that our the better it will be. Sorry but its true. Name your child whatever u want but don’t be surprised if they are bullied, or excluded from jobs, clubs or are discriminated against. If you name your child shaquandalesha that just pops out at ppl as being ghetto, low class, poor, etc even if none of those things are true. We know we live in a world where blk ppl operate in two worlds. Our private world and the “corporate/college/professional” world. Lets stop putting our kids thru this and just hive them a regular name that everyone can pronounce

  • https://www.facebook.com/kae.rich.9 Kae Rich

    ***give

  • https://www.facebook.com/kae.rich.9 Kae Rich

    ***give

  • https://www.facebook.com/kae.rich.9 Kae Rich

    ***give

  • https://www.facebook.com/kae.rich.9 Kae Rich

    ***give

  • Wale Adeyemi

    Half caste is not a negative word, it’s the correct word. Typical Americans with their artsy fartsy political correctness. Why should Black just accept anything and everything? That’s absolute foolishness. It’s you African American Americans that don’t see where you’re going wrong. You are taking half whites and assuming them as your own? Have any of you even bothered to ask these half castes if the want to be Black? NO F COURSE NOT..That’s why you people lose your minds when a half caste person says that they aren’t JUST Black that they are White aswell. Boris Kodjoe did it not long ago and African Americans on here were losing their minds..He’s not just black..he’s White also..That makes him Biracial/Halfcaste. The quicker that gets into your thick skulls the better. Do they even really want to one Black or are they just being forced to claim it because whites won’t claim them? For some reason in America it seems to be a crime to differentiate between half castes and Black where as in every other country it’s perfectly fine..Because..Well that’s what it is. It weird when i see someone in America like Soledad O Brien call herself Black when so she so clearly isn’t..Or like When Halle Berry Calls her 3 quarters White daughter Black. Sorry but that’s absolutely ass backwards and then you wonder why so many of these kids grow up with identity issues.

    Anyway, good for you. African Americans have never been one to help themselves. Instead of burying the one drop rule and helping yourselves you’d rather keep it alive…Honestly you people will never cease to amaze me. Good luck!

  • Wale Adeyemi

    Yes but it doesn’t negate their other half either. For some reason Afro Americans are dead set on claiming everything little thing as Black. As long as they have one percent of Black blood. Absolutely pathetic

  • Tracey

    Kae, sure your name can sound black but if the person you are dealing with has issues with black people the fact that you are black is going to be an even bigger issue with them. That is what people seem to be missing. Your name may put a road block but only to those who have issues with black people in the first place.

  • Tracey

    Sounds like self-imposed segregation. Whose to say that the kid’s black family doesn’t still live closer to where she is now? We used to send one kid to a school in order to breaak color barriers and now the best advice is run to where everyone at least looks likes you? What happened to fighting the good fight?

  • Tracey

    She’s 19 now so I’m thinkin gthat she assumes she can start over in college or in the working world. Poor baby thinks her name was the issue and not the loser idiots making fun of her.

  • apple

    well as someone with a ghetto name who has had it butchered and mispronounced my entire life where no body remembers me –black or white. i say she was smart for changing it. we can stay delusional and say “oh names don’t matter” but statistically speaking black names are more likely your resume tossed/ignored and i can’t even get the interview to prove myself? then the pride of a name just isn’t worth it. i can make a political statement or i can put food on the table. i will never do what my mother did to me with a name.

  • apple

    well it was arabic but when an overwhelming group of black people uses it it becomes black… like jamal and rashad

    but since there was an arabic slave trade of africans you are still naming your children “master’s name”

  • apple

    apple would fare anywhere if she rich.. see when you rich/powerful you can name your kid Apple, or Denim or Jermagjesty and still live good

  • apple

    assume she got the name from Kylie Jenner and not Kylie Minogue

  • http://gravatar.com/rahmadclark Zanabee

    Kylie Minouge and Kylie Jenner ESPECIALLY Kylie Jenner are just popular celebrities with that name. So, yeah like I said *sigh* low class white folks name their babies “Kylie” No exclusion necessary.

  • Rochelle

    You sound like a very sad sad person Apple. You are up and down this board telling your sob stories and feeling sorry for yourself. I feel sorry for you. Maybe no one will hire you because you don’t believe in yourself and you are uneducated, undereducated, or have no experience. It is not always “whoa is me.” I think you need to seek help.

  • We share the same Name!

    haha Jihan…… We have the same name! Only my name is spelled Gihane. It is butchered constantly. I used to cringed when teachers would pronounce it. Plus I don’t meet many people that share the same name. I too wanted to change my name many times. I have though about it, but not realistically. I wouldn’t want to disrespect my mother. However, I do sometime go by my middle name just to avoid the hassle of saying my name a hundred times. A name can be a hinderance. But I have learned to like my name. However, it is clear that this girl just wants to be white. It is sad. If her name was Jessica, she would not think of changing her name. I am surprised her mother could not talk some sense into her minor child. She must not be very “present” in her life.

  • http://www.dangerouslee.biz Dangerous Lee

    I’m aware that it doesn’t negate their White side, but that’s not in question is it? And, we’re not talking about 1% here. PS: It’s African American.

  • Wow

    Keisha is a Hebrew name that means favorite child. It is a beautiful name. The Mother chose to raise her in a majority White area, a racist one at that. This young women is biracial, and is clearly most connected to her White side. Lol at the Black people seeking to claim her as Black. This girl has changed her name because she doesn’t want to be associated with a name that connects her to Black people, and some Black people are still wanting to claim her. Nothing says “I am not Black” than changing your name to one that says ‘I am a White girl”. This girl was birthed from a Caucasion woman. This girl is biracial. Black parent + white parent= Biracial child. Black parent + Black parent= Black child.

  • http://milameel.wordpress.com milameel

    I’m irritated by Miss writer Yesha over here who apparently thinks “Oh, this girl was bullied so much she wanted to change her name? Lemme throw some shade at her for not being oh-so-strong, and standing up for herself. I did it, why can’t she?”

    Grow up. You are not her and she is not you and nobody needs to feel bad about that. That nasty little thing you did at the end? You know, calling her by the name that is no longer hers, Keisha? Screw you.

  • http://www.yeshacallahan.com Yesha Callahan

    Cry me a river.

    -Yesha

  • Nikkoli

    BWAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

  • camille

    I see what you did there, milameel. You pretended tobe a jerk make Ms. Yesha look like a jerk. Good stuff

  • Marie

    Once a racist sees HER, they’re going to say something negative just the same. It doesn’t matter that she’s Keisha or Kylie, her skin isn’t white. What’s next? Bleaching? She’s young and there’s hope she’ll embrace Keisha 100%.

  • folasade

    Whatever. ghetto is the term for a jewish slum , someone who was prejudiced put them there. I will name my child whatever i please. Why is some white man gonna tell me the name i have chosen for my chikd unacceptable is he in the place of God

  • folasade

    Heres the thing rashida is an arabic name. Shoshanna is a hebrew name. Neferiti is an EGYPTIAN name. Who made up the rule that ALL ppl only can have irish/ english/scottish names. Misha is a RUSSIAN all these white folks talking bout how those names are so strange need a history lesson. Abena, akosua, are african names. Have you seen thai or india name they someones have 24 letters are they being denied for a job bc they dont have an irish name. No its hatred towards blacks.

  • http://smithmnd Janie Steele

    Ghetto names are very hard a woman trying to make it , whether a job or getting into a good college.I have known companies to get an application with one of those names, and just throw it away. She was wise to change her name. This is the way it is today!

  • Kiki

    At first I was going to jump on the “if it makes her happy bandwagon”, but all I can say is NO! Girl develop a back backbone. There are going to be a lot things she have to deal with in life. If she cannot even stand up for NAME I am scared for where her life it headed.

  • Not strong

    Seems like the White Mother has more pride in Black names than her own biracial daughter. Her daughter has a weak mind.

  • best

    Eating healthy and working out are infinitely more important than changing your name to a more acceptable “white” name. Just saying.

  • Nicole

    The people pronouncing her name incorrectly and assigning stereotypical notions are the ones who should be chastized not this young woman.

  • camille

    Ghetto names? Really? I know plenty of people who are easily identified as being Black by their names. When they are interviewed it’s not a shock to the interviewer to see a Black person. By your “logic” they would never be offered an interview in the first place

  • camille

    She looks more like a Keisha than a Kylie. Ijs

  • camille

    Biracial doesn’t mean you’re not Black. Black is pretty much how you are perceived and doesn’t have that strong of a biological correlate. If Black was really just having more “African blood” (whatever that means) than not, we would find that many Americans who identify as Black would be in for a big surprise

  • apple

    probably because she isn’t black. people always can find pride in something when they have the luxury of doing so

  • camille

    By your “logic:” her mother chose a father that would set her up for failure. Why do people keep having Black babies? You think we would know by now that white people are soooo very happy and superior. Let’s give up

  • camille

    Black =/= just got off the boat. It has little to do with African ancestry and is more of a cultural and phenotypic representation

  • camille

    You sound angry Wale. Maybe you should go home

  • noirluv45

    LOL!!! I’m watching NW News Today, and the Black woman anchor’s name is Shaniqua Manning! Her name didn’t stop her!

  • Robbie

    I agree 100% with you Jihan. Thumb me down all you want. Unfortunately, in this world we live in, names do matter.

  • simplyme

    To each her own. Maybe she had to do what she felt like she had to do to make life a little easier…. I just hope she understands that the problem was not with her name or those that share her name but the people who made assumptions about her because of her name.

  • Kianga

    This story makes me think of my experience when I use my nickname Kiki. I used it while ordering food at a Black-owned restaurant and the person said no I cant use it,what is your real name. I thought that was rude! What if Kiki was my real name. So what! I left out but unfortunately ended up at a non Black establishment.

  • rey

    I’m a black biracial woman who is proud of her black heritage. But then again – I’m not the decider of all things black – like you.

  • rey

    Most of the “Keishas” I have ever known were white, not black. So I don’t understand had one name is more black than the other anyway. But changing her name to a more “white” sounding one is not going to change the fact that most white people will see her as black. But she’s young, so she will learn.

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