Would You Name Your Child North West or Noquisha?

By: | March 14, 2017

North West. The same direction you will find on a map is the name of a celebrity’s child. A lot of people will question why someone will place their child in a situation, where the uniqueness of their name could change the way people will look at them. At the same time, many people are supportive of the unusual name. In reality, the decision made by Kim Kardashian and Kanye West is influenced by their culture.

Cultural names come from racial, religious, ethnic or pop culture. Although the names can connect to a particular race or ethnicity of people, they go far beyond an individual’s ethnicity or race. When we examine unique names, we find some of the oddest names come from celebrities of all races. Rock star, Bono named his daughter, Memphis Eve. Singer Gwen Stefani named her daughter, Apple. These aren’t names you typically find on a class attendance sheet, and they are not unique to one race.

The next question is probably, “Well, why do people choose such identifiable names for their children?”

In certain neighborhoods, the name Loquisha is “normal.” Three people can have the same name, but it does not have to be spelled in the same way although it is pronounced the same. The name is simply modified. Now, you have Voquisha, Noquisha, or simply Quisha. It is a part of their everyday culture and typical for those parents that choose those names for their children, never taking into consideration for what others may think about it.

Research suggests that there is a detrimental stigmatization that occurs because of cultural names, especially for Blacks and Latinos. In 2015, a study was performed by UCLA’s research scientist for the Center for Behavior, Evolution, and Culture, Dr. Colin Holbrook. Holbrook’s experiments involving approximately 1,500 people, mainly Caucasian showed that when individuals have stereotypically Black or Latino names they are subject to hiring discrimination and pre-judgments in school.

Those who criticize the name of a child have placed themselves inside an imaginary box. They believe social norms should not change. In their mind, you must “fit in” to succeed. In reality, many of the most successful people that have influenced our world were unique and even strange to some. They ignored restraints that could have limited them from their full potential.

In the long run, those with biased views are fighting a losing battle. One reason is the emergence of the next generation. The Millennials are coming of age, and they have grown up in a world centered on to the idea of individual uniqueness. They have more freedom to express themselves, which has reduced the negative judgments they make about the background of others. The practice of finding an unusual name for a child will become the norm for the society.

Soon, the kids with the “out of the ordinary names” will become the next generation of CEOs, entrepreneurs, political leaders, and game changers. Just think back, the 44th president’s name, Barack Obama was something many people had never heard.