Pan Africanism : Africans with European names . . . contradiction?

Discussion in 'Black History - Culture - Panafricanism' started by NNQueen, May 24, 2003.

  1. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2001
    Messages:
    6,376
    Likes Received:
    1,430
    Gender:
    Female
    Ratings:
    +1,862
    My way of thinking is changing. Questions about my background, family genealogy, even my name are beginning to develop as I read more and explore my "Africanism".

    Names. . . it seems like a contradiction to think of one's self as African yet answer to a name that doesn't reflect an African heritage.

    http://www.swagga.com/name.htm

    What do you think?
     
  2. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2002
    Messages:
    10,227
    Likes Received:
    191
    Location:
    The Diaspora
    Ratings:
    +194
    Depending on how you look at it, an African with a European name can be considered a contradiction. However, I think it is more acurate to say that Africans with European names are a reflection of assimilation into European society. If we look at people in Africa, many change their names from traditional African names to European names when they are "baptised" into the Christian church. For example my mother in-law's birth name was Bonacha (the same name my daughter has), but her name was changed to Maria' Angeles when she moved to Spain to study.

    I also have worked with a lot of Africans over the years (mostly Ghanians and Nigerians), and I noticed the same thing. They often go by one name at the job (especially on their resume); but when they meet other Africans they are called by an African sounding name. When I asked them why they changed their name, they told me it is easier for them to find jobs with European or American sounding names. It is unfortunate that they have to do this, but I guess you do what you have to in order to survive.
     
  3. ifasehun

    ifasehun Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    May 11, 2003
    Messages:
    381
    Likes Received:
    19
    Ratings:
    +19
    my wife, son and myself have all adopted or legally changed all or portions of our names. its truly liberating, you dont know it until you do it. and it gains in significance as time goes on. it a great way to really understand and see firsthand how black people really feel about africa, especially if you travel a lot.
     
  4. BaduX

    BaduX Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2003
    Messages:
    420
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    student
    Location:
    On the right hand of GOD
    Ratings:
    +0
    i learned a lot from the information that is learned...i wanted to know if anyone can tell me were they get there information from...like the new names and stuff like that...im wanting to change my name from my american name to a strong African name...plus i graduated and wanting to start a new life...thanx
     
  5. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2001
    Messages:
    6,376
    Likes Received:
    1,430
    Gender:
    Female
    Ratings:
    +1,862
    What about surnames and how can they been chosen? Also, I might need to post this question in the astrology forum but I wonder whether one's African name can be chosen using astrological calculations?

    We debate a lot about what to call ourselves as a people...why don't these types of conversations include what we are called by individually?

    Do you think our Black consciousness will automatically increase if we we changed the names we are called by to one that is clearly African? It would seem to tie us closer to our ancestry psychologically and emotionally.

    At the same time, it seems psychologically incongruent to call oneself afrocentric but answer to a European name, don't you think? I don't know, but could this be a form of subliminal messaging that keeps us tied to a history of slavery as opposed to when we weren't slaves and was free?
     
  6. ifasehun

    ifasehun Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    May 11, 2003
    Messages:
    381
    Likes Received:
    19
    Ratings:
    +19
    surnames & how to choose them...depends

    but it should:

    *it can relate to the reputation your family has in the community (not just your reputation, but your whole family)

    *it can speak to a vocational trade or religious/spiritual talent of your family.

    *because you were born outside of africa, it can relate to "returning to your history" and your desire for future generations to do so as well.

    *mostly importantly it should be relate to your FAMILy, and not just to you. that is what makes an african surname just that..it cant be an individualistic expression, or you might as well keep your european name.
     
  7. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2001
    Messages:
    6,376
    Likes Received:
    1,430
    Gender:
    Female
    Ratings:
    +1,862
    Thank you ifasehun. That information is very helpful! Now, where do I find surnames to consider? Or is that not the way it's supposed to work?
     
  8. ifasehun

    ifasehun Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    May 11, 2003
    Messages:
    381
    Likes Received:
    19
    Ratings:
    +19
    i suppose if you are acting outside of a traditional african context (with the help of a traditional priest) then you can look on your own and begin to meditate on appropriate names. i suggest that you share with your family your findings. you will be challenged to argue the point of the exercise, but gently focus them on the essence - the meaning of each name, as opposed to why you would wanna do it. lol they will be useful once they can see that part and you will find a name in no time. i could recommend some better books.
     
  9. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2001
    Messages:
    6,376
    Likes Received:
    1,430
    Gender:
    Female
    Ratings:
    +1,862
    Thank you ifasehun. I always appreciate your input.

    Peace :heart:
     
  10. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2001
    Messages:
    6,376
    Likes Received:
    1,430
    Gender:
    Female
    Ratings:
    +1,862
    Baba, you have so much information that is interesting and I wish you would share more. For example, what does your name mean and why did you select it and for those that don't know about John Henrick Clarke, why is he worthy of this type of recognition? You might want to start a new thread on Clarke. There's a powerful message in his legacy and it deserves it's own place to be told here I think.

    Peace! :heart:
     
Loading...