Poet Sha’Condria ‘iCon’ Sibley READS Raven-Symoné (and Whoopi) For Quvenzhane’ (and Watermelondrea)

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Raven-Symoné: “Can we take back ‘racist’ and say ‘discriminatory?’ Because I think that’s a better word.” Whoopi: “Yes, it is a much better word.” No, sisters, it’s not.

There have been many responses, including my above tweet, rebuking Raven-Symoné (and women of The View, including a sister named Whoopi) mocking so called “ghetto” [Black] names, but New Orleans slam poet Sha’Condria ‘iCon’ Sibley speaks on the matter from the poignant perspective of little Black girls who have ‘big’ names. Though dedicated to Quvenzhané Wallis years ago, Sha’Condria’s piece perfectly reads Raven-Symoné and Whoopi’s tomfoolery over so called ‘ghetto’ names. “Say it right or don’t say it at all.” –Sha’Condria #dontBSyourself

And now… let us dig even deeper into the ‘Black name’ phenomenon and stigma:

Though the women of The View got quite a kick out of mocking ‘ghetto’ [Black] names and the employment discrimination imposed against people who have such names, it’s actually no laughing matter, especially for women of color.

“I was told…go to school and you’ll be fine for the rest of your life. But obviously that’s a lie,” said Yolanda Spivey.

Spivey has a bachelor’s degree in English and more than a decade of experience in the insurance industry, but still can’t find work.

In 2011, fearing name discrimination, she created a separate online profile under the name Bianca White. This led to more interviews but she still couldn’t get a job.

Yolanda Spivey
Yolanda Spivey

Black unemployment in America isnearly twice the national average. But in 2014 African-American women had the highest unemployment rate among women (10.5 percent) compared to white women (5.2 percent), according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

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