(Names such as: Chivas Regal, Lexus and Hennessy, for example, are not names based on African culture or an afro-centric theme)

Mandell United Methodist, 5000 W. Congress Pkwy

John Roberts
“It’s bad enough that we are already stigmatized and judged by the color of our skin as oppose to the names that are given us. To subject ourselves to be named after cars and alcoholic beverages is absolutely pathetic. No one wants to worship with Rev. Buick, Hummer or Rev. Budweiser. And then to name your child from an object just doesn’t make any sense. So we as African people cannot do that.”

Jedda M. Richardson
“I think that a name controls your destiny regardless to what it is. To name a child after liquor or a car, I mean what if they plan on going into government? It’s going to totally hinder their future. Can you see yourself voting for Mayor Chivas or Hennessy? I mean come on. I just don’t understand it. I think a lot of it plays on the younger parents because when you have a baby, they really don’t understand what they’re doing when they give these names. There is power in a name.”

Lola Conners
“Some of these parents don’t know what they are doing naming these kids. They need to find out about the life that we had in the olden days and find out how these names came about. They would be better kids that are coming up because how are we going to go somewhere with a name like Chivas Regal? We can’t do this. We have to take our children and put them in prayer and we must work together with them ?” not hinder their future. Black children are already looked at differently just because of their color.”

Cheryl Bew
“I feel that a name is very important, especially to a young person when they enter into the job market. Sometimes names can be used as a screening process or barrier even without knowing anything about the applicant. When the name comes across the Human Resources’ desk sometimes the name can automatically identify this person as an African American, not that this should be a barrier for employment. But sometimes it can weed out an application. So I think truly a name is important to the child.”

Christine L. Craig
“I detest these odd names. I taught school for 40 years in Chicago and one of my students was named Martell (whiskey). I have wondered why would a parent name a child Martell; after some liquor? What is the significance of that? We are behind as it is. We’ve got to step up forward and start thinking of our children’s future. When you get ready to get a job, how is it going to sound to people in authority with these odd names. We’ve got to teach our children how to answer people and not use these nicknames. Use their real names ?”not JuneBug, Baby Brother or Little Man when they start school. They don’t even know their last names. We have a hard time communicating with our children now, and for the parents to give names they can’t spell? We’ve got to learn how to spell other things. In the meantime, we must teach our children to be responsible individuals. It has to start at home.”