People unfairly judge uncommon names

FAMU has students from all over the country and world, so it’s no secret students have a variety of names, some of which may be considered unusual.

And although America seemingly has moved into an era of political correctness, some students argue they continue to be judged by something as simple as their name.

Efeosa Eboigbodin, 21, a fourth-year accounting student from Nigeria, said she receives mixed responses to her name.

“Whoa!” or “Oh my Gosh, really? That’s your name?” are just a few ways people react to Eboigbodin’s name.

Eboigbodin said some students at FAMU have even asked her insulting questions such as “Did you live in huts?”

She said people also perceive her based on how the media portrays Africans.

“It’s shallow,” Eboigbodin said.

Eboigbodin explained that blacks view their own people in a negative light. She said people should understand that she is human and has feelings too.

“I’m an individual,” she said. “Don’t characterize me. Don’t pass judgment on me because of my name.”

Quansa McCullough, a science teacher at Midway Middle School in Georgia, said his aunts found his name in an African history book.

“The meaning ‘Quansa’ is the first born or the fruitful,” McCullough said.

When McCullough introduces himself some people ask, “Are you African?” which he said doesn’t offend him like it used to.

Others have taken the questions and judgments more personally over the years.

Terante Harper, a store manager for Demo in Governor’s Square Mall said, “I’m used to (my different name) now, but when I was younger it offended me a lot.”

“I started going by my middle name Antonio,” Harper said. “I just hated my first name for so long.”

Some people say a person’s name not only affects the individual, but can also influence decisions made by employers.

Andre Branton, store manager for Dollar General, said the policy for Dollar General is hiring the most qualified applicant.

“I don’t think anything different,” Branton said. “I look past that. I look at their education and work skills. That’s what’s important.”

Harper encounters many types of different names at his job.

“For me in retail you can’t judge people by their name. Working at this store, you get all kinds of names. That’s just how it is.”

As a person with a unique name, Harper said people incorrectly associate the term “ghetto” with people who have unique names.

“I don’t have the impression that I’m ghetto,” he said. “My name is quite different. It’s one that many people do not have.

“Ghetto is a low income place,” Harper continued. “People tend to turn the word around. They try to turn a place into a person.”