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"When I first heard that 9-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis was the youngest nominee in the Leading Actress..."

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“When I first heard that 9-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis was the youngest nominee in the Leading Actress category in the Academy Awards’ 85-year history, I thought the same thing probably a lot of people thought: Quvenzhané?! What the hell kind of a name is that?! Well, it turns out that her parents claim in Swahili, that means ‘fairy’. Whew! That was CLOSE! Thank God it actually means something, because when it comes to black people and the names we give our children, often times, it can be an adventure. Sometimes we name our kids after our favorite drinks. I can’t tell you how many Martells, Remis, and Alizés I know! […]

A lot of times white people ask me, “Hey Dwayne, how come black people have such crazy names?”, and then they laugh, and laugh, and then I’ll laugh too. Then I tell them the reason: SLAVERY! Yeah, yuck it up NOW.

See, when we were brought here form Africa, we were devoid of our African culture so we had to invent a whole new culture almost from scratch, and when you’re making things up, sometimes you’ll get the greatest creations in the history of the world like Blues, Gospel, Jazz, and Rock & Roll, and sometimes, you get Deshoquaneesha. Or Bonesheeva. Or Aquanetta. Or Darquayvious. Or, Jermajesty. They CAN’T all be HITS!

So Quvenzhané Wallis, come Sunday, I’m rooting for you!”

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Dwayne Kennedy on Totally Biased/W. Kamau Bell (via kateoplis)

This is actually completely true. Slavery. That’s really it. When you get down to it. And if you sit and speak with someone who has named their kids something odd then really this is at the root of it.


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