It’s no surprise to me that Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people are being asked to change their names at work. I have worked in several sectors and my name has always been an issue for my colleagues. I recall working in a high-end department store, where my then-manager insisted on calling me AID instead of Ade. This is pronounced Ah-day (for those of you that haven’t met someone with a Nigerian name before). This manager called me AID for nearly over a year only to stop when a former colleague corrected him. (Which confuses me because during the countless times I did correct him, he continued to say my it wrong!)
The whitewashing of BAME names is still happening despite the surge of diversity on our screens. Billions of pounds have been poured into telling stories from minority perspectives in movies and TV shows; a big chunk of celebrity athletes and musicians are BAME people– there is no avoiding us.
Yet, people still seem to have difficulties with pronouncing non-western names. According to ITVNews more than a third of employees from an ethnic minority background are being told to change their names to something more English.
I, on several occasions, have had requests to change my name. When it comes to having a supposedly “unique” name, English people, in my opinion, are the worst at even attempting to say your it correctly. I’ ve had people who willfully ignore how to pronounce my name. Telling me: “I will pronounce your name how it’s spelt, darling!”.
It makes me sick because your it’s your identity; if someone can’t have the respect to even try to pronounce your name correctly. It says more about them than you.
I’m still learning but I have now learned that my name is who I am, and if you can’t learn to give me the common courtesy to pronounce it properly you don’t deserve to speak to me. You should be proud of your name and don’t change it for anyone. Read – Don’t TOUCH, Ask Q’s About MY HAIR
Have you ever had to change your name for people? If you have, share your story in the comments below.
This is for the beautiful amazing black QUEENS out there in the corporate world that just want a new fresh hairstyle, but threat on how to deal with “those comments and questions” read more you will understand….
Warning you may want to apply a slight American dialect to this but I think regardless we all will appreciate!
girls, girllllls! I write this as I listen to Solonge – Don’t touch my
hair! which I know y’all have listened too and can relate! If you
haven’t then girlllll you better get on it! She speaks about our crown
that they (you know who… and if you don’t you will) shouldn’t touch. I
can’t tell you how sick, tired, annoyed but also slightly amused of
feeling uncomfortable about doing my hair in different styles simply
because of the working environment, my work colleagues in the past and
present have put me in. I know, I know why should I care?! I shouldn’t
but it’s hard when you go to work with that fresh new weave or those
fresh new braids, or coinrows were you’re of course feeling yourself as
you should; then you have someone ask you.
“Your hair looks nice, how do they make it like that”
“It’s very interesting how they make your hair like that”
“Do you wash your hair when it’s in the weave”
“Your hair looks like you have snakes on your head”
“How long do you have to sit still for … ohhh no I couldn’t do that”
“Do you think they could do my hair like that I have…..
LOOK listen let me just stop you right there!
YES! These statements and questions can get annoying!
Let me tell you my most recent story….
I went to work with a curly wig (I made it myself so I was quite pleased) picture below so you get the idea. People at work (you know what sort of people I am talking about). Yes non-black people told me my hair was nice and all that ish; I appreciated it, but then someone had the cheek to then turn around and tell me my hair looked springy! Like what does he mean SPRINGY??
girlssss you know when a black person says your hair looks nice there’s
a difference to when a non-black person says your hair looks nice. They
wanna know more! They wanna follow it up with a detailed explanation on
how your hair magically got like that! Like Please!
That type of shit be getting on my nerves!
this person allowed his mouth to open and tell me my hair looked
springy! At that very moment I just wanted to have an Issa moment, you
know where I rap and drop a base on how curly hair ain’t springy! (I
would write the lyrics but I stink at rap!) Instead I politely smiled
and let that one slide. No one wants an angry black woman in the office
anyways let’s face it I could be here all day telling you what stupid,
ignorant statements I’ve received after spending time and money (lots)
may I just add… on making myself look presentable in this corporate
environment. Ok I’m really doing it for that weekend outing that we all
got planned (you know how it goes right right!)
In all of this rant, there was a reason why I brought y’all here.
(Mix that British and American dialect now ladies)
basically, I just felt like someone (me) needed to provide some tips
on how us black beautiful, Nubian queens goddesses cause you know we be
royalty! And yes you amazing non-black people (cause you can learn
something here too) should deal with such annoying questions and
statements! I only have a few tips, but I’m sure you girls will be able
to share some tips on how you deal with this situation so please, please
girls, comment let us all share our stories on how we be dealing with
Don’t touch my hair, don’t touch my soul! – Literally!
I know I already mentioned Solange song but it an actual statement that needs to be heard! Have even seen people (non-black people may I add) listen to dance and actually twerk to this song (yes you’ve all seen Miley Cyrus right?)
I keep drifting sorry…. my point is that I personally think it’s okay to tell your colleagues not to touch your hair. Why not? You don’t know where there hands been! I think it’s how you say it may be an issue, but heck if you don’t someone gonna touch your expensive Afro (yes our hair is expensive ladies) or that extra virgin weave/hair that payed a lot of money for so girl you better tell em “don’t touch my hair”
The comments just let them slide!
Lord knows I have to turn a blind eye when these stupid comments come my way! I remember when I just got these fresh and I mean fresh Ghana braids! I was feeling myself to then hear my colleague tell me that I looked like I had “snakes on my head” yes ladies read it again!
I’m sorry! But black hair is beautiful. It’s a masterpiece! You’re a “masterpiece” – Jazmin Sullivan (I’m just quoting lyrics today, but it’s needed) and I don’t appreciate you telling me that I look like I have snakes on my head. This one is not really for us sisters this is one for you Caucasian people, but if you do get those comments just let that one side please!
I don’t have snakes on my head. My hair was looking BRAND NEW and those
comments are a big no no, because when Kim K be rocking that hairstyle
it’s no longer snakes it’s called stylish! Why?!”
These people (you know who I mean) don’t mean it.
this one is for you and me. I generally don’t think they mean to be
mean, rude or ignorant. They are merely interested. I would say
intrigued and damn right nosey but hey! we are amazing exotic people to
them so we must represent when we are in the corporate world and educate
those that lack the knowledge and exposure to the real world. And if
they don’t understand just remind them of what “culture appreciation” is
because you and I know it’s real (sips tea).
Be comfortable/confident in your hair style!
girl be the Nubian Queen that you are rock that style! Slayyyyyy your
hair. We all know that a woman’s hair is her masterpiece, her crown but
this is something I am still trying to work really with. I have been on
and off natural for about 3/4 years now and I can honestly say I still
lack the confidence to rock my hair out naturally. It sits under that
sad I know but it’s me being very honest with you and myself. I even
find it difficult having a new weave colour or braids because I hate the
annoying comments/questions that come with it…. and I know I’m not
the only one, but I know that this is a process and in time I will be
able to slaaaaayyyy.
I hope these tips help you guys and as I’ve said please share some of your stories and tips!
Don’t touch my hair When it’s the feelings I wear Don’t touch my soul When it’s the rhythm I know Don’t touch my crown They say the vision I’ve found Don’t touch what’s there When it’s the feelings I wear They don’t understand What it means to me Where we chose to go Where we’ve been to know They don’t understand What it means to me Where we chose to go Where we’ve been to know You know this hair is my shit Rode the ride, I gave it time But this here is mine You know this hair is my shit Rode the ride, I gave it time But this here is mine What you say, oh? What you say to me? Don’t touch my pride They say the glory’s all mine Don’t test my mouth They say the truth is my sound They don’t understand What it means to me Where we chose to go Where we’ve been to know They don’t understand What it means to me Where we chose to go Where we’ve been to know You know this hair is my shit Rode the ride, I gave it time But this here is mine You know this hair is my shit Rode the ride, I gave it time But this here is mine What you say, oh? What you say to me?
I loved this quote because it seems like everyone is doing everything to tick of a grocery list, rather than asking the simple question? How happy are you?
Am I happy?
It’s scary; everyone in this world is living and surviving for this simple fact, that we have no other choice but to live. So many people are living for fame, for popularity, for friendship and to simply be accepted, which is honestly a shame. I ask you are you happy with this lifestyle and how long do you think you can keep this lifestyle up? Most of the key motivational speakers will say that – “Materialistic things cannot buy happiness”, yet so many young people, (except a few) I see around myself are trying to hunt for this happiness in these very things, but even those few have yet succeeded into finding their own happiness? Why is this? Why are you not happy with the life you already have? What is it that you are missing in your life that will make you truly happy with where you are?
What does happy mean?
I recently did a search on Oxford dictionary for the true meaning of “Happy” the answer was “Feeling or showing pleasure or contentment”
a pretty straight forward meaning don’t you think? When we express
feelings of pleasure or contentment from ourselves, it means we are
happy. How often do you feel like this? Do you feel like something is
missing? Does your happiness come from natural things or do you have to
have materialistic things to show the world that you are happy? When you
realise that is all you have to offer is the latest designer, doesn’t
that bother you? It will most certainly bother me if people didn’t see
me for who I am rather than my social status. People like that no longer
exist in my life thank God. Why because people don’t realise all this
stuff fades away and when you are away from this world, you remove
yourself from the lies and fake that people portray to the world.
Two weeks ago I decided, I needed a break from the social media world; I needed to recognise that I was blessed and happy within myself. Now don’t get me wrong I knew all this already, sometimes I think you can get stuck in this world and see what everyone else has, things you don’t have and think to yourself if I had these things I might just be happy.
should be happy with where your life is and where it is going; if you
don’t like where it is and where it is going you most definitely need to
consider changing it. It might be simple things like, your attitude,
the people around you, your environment – the list goes on but the first
step is recognising that you need to find happiness within yourself.
am no expert in telling people how to live their lives and finding
happiness and I most certainly still have things I need to change about
myself, nevertheless I can honestly say I have never been so happy in a
long time with myself. I know myself and the people I have around me.
They are genuine people with good hearts. I feel that my life can only
go upwards from here and I truly believe that. Of course there will be
hiccups along the way, but I know with the strength of God, I will
overcome any issue that comes my way.
Life is very simple; sometimes we just over complicate life so much. I am a huge victim of this. Yes there will be problems, they will be hard times, but look around you, and recognise there are many things in life to appreciate.
The problem with all of us is, we try to look for happiness in others, and rather, we ourselves should be the very source of happiness. We have to fill our souls spiritually and mentally happy and completely move on with life without any expectations from others. Don’t expect but give and go on and have a little faith, happiness will come back to you in many ways you can’t imagine!
Just remember life isn’t a grocery list, life is for living and as I will always say “you must live your best life”
What does happiness mean to you? Have you found your own happiness?