It’s 2020 and Black women are still being discriminated against for our names.
Charnay Marie Taylor is a Black woman who wrote an open letter in the HuffPost about how, during her adult years, she’s identified herself as C. Marie Taylor. She says this decision was because she has a name that isn’t respected in the corporate world.
She shares how for 20-plus years, she gave her first name the boot for a chance at securing an executive job.
“Regardless of an advanced degree, stable work history, and great resume, I couldn’t get an interview anywhere,” Taylor said via the HuffPost. “As I complained to my male white friend, whom I had grown up with and who worked in HR about my frustration, he said flatly, ‘Drop Charnay and use Marie.’”
Not only did she take his advice, but Taylor decided that by adding the “C” in front of “Marie” that she would still be honoring her parents and heritage. She reveals, “ I was now C. Marie and I landed an executive job almost instantly.”
“There are moments when I regret the choice I made and feel like I betrayed who I am to get ahead,” said Taylor.
Even to this day, she has decided to stick with C. Marie Taylor because she says, “I still won’t get the respect my name deserves.” It is a thought process that she reveals makes her “weary” and says that it is “just another piece of being a Black woman in America.”
Like many women, Taylor wants the world to do us a solid favor and “say our whole names.” Now, more than ever, she says it’s important for the world to learn the correct pronunciation of Black women’s names.
“Don’t give comments on our names, because we didn’t ask for them. Just put some respect on it- Black women deserve it,” Taylor said via the HuffPost.
We couldn’t agree more. If you’re a Black woman with — what the world deems — a “complicated” name, we hope that this encourages you to push people to say your given name. Don’t let anyone convince you that it’s too had to pronounce!