Saturday, February 19, 2011

Slave Names

I was just searching on YouTube for Terence Trent D'Arby, who put out my favorite album of 1987, "The Hardline According to..."

Since then, he's changed his name to "Sananda Maitreya."

Terence Trent D'Arby (Darby) = Sananda Maitreya
Cassius Clay = Muhammad Ali
Malcolm Little = Malcolm X

I wonder when women will also stop taking the names of their owners.

As with the slaves brought over from Africa, women's roots have also been nearly completely obliterated because tradition has insisted that they take on the names of their husbands (in effect erasing the woman's own roots).

In my case: My last name is Jones.
My mother's last name is Lerche.
Her mother's last name is Hoche.
Her mother's last name is Osterroth.
Her mother's last name is Kramer.
Her mother's last name is ?. The maternal line dies out for me in the early 1800s. And even all of these women's last names is a given from their father. I have no real name. There's no way out of it.

African-Americans have made great efforts to reclaim their roots. Women of all races have not. For generations, women have been passively content to take on their husband's last names, in effect willingly erasing their own history. No one seems to see anything odd or completely psychotic about this. Women's roots have been as completely obliterated as slaves' roots. The only difference? Women have WILLINGLY given up their names and ancestry. (Don't think the slaves had much of a choice.)

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