Prince was really a rare phenomenon. He could sing, dance, write music, play instruments, produce albums and look great doing it: I don’t think we’ll see his like again.
But what an awful name.
Prince Rogers Nelson, named after his father Prince Rogers, changed his name to “Artist Formerly Known As Prince” and reverted back to Prince in 2000 when his contract with Warner Bros expired. His only sister Tyka Nelson has two sons called, wait for this, Sir and President.
What on earth is going on here?
African-Americans are obviously so detached from their native land to have to name their children Condom, Lebron, Shakishia or Loquishiar. While I understand ‘black American parents’ aren’t a monolith – there’s no excuse for a D’brickishaw, Barkevious or D’quell. Hang on, there’s even a “Vagina” (pronounced Vageena) or “Sexalean” and a “Fuhqueena” (pronounced ****eena).
Is this a cultural thing, a simple lack of education or low intelligence?
We all know using non-conventional naming to express uniqueness does a child no favours and garners them no acceptance in a difficult and competitive world. Only (the now disgraced) Bill Cosby appears to have believed in assimilation and once asked, “What is wrong with a civilised name that people can say or spell?” He went further by posing the question – (in a classroom) “who do you think a teacher is going to call on, a name that they can say or some other name that is pronounced differently than it is spelled?” What he is saying, in essence is, don’t separate yourself from others, be a part of the solution, not the problem.
Take Barack Obama, it’s a beautiful Kenyan name, while Michelle is a perfectly normal, socially acceptable, adopted Anglo-American name. Makes sense. What doesn’t make sense however, is Gwyneth Paltrow naming her daughter “Apple”. But that’s another story.
It gets worse. Research has proven, that job applicants with ‘black-sounding’ names are more likely to be rejected, regardless of qualifications. It’s the modern version of an old dynamic, best captured by Malcolm X’s joke. “You know what they call a black person who earns a Ph.D.? A nigger.”
I understand the oppressive ‘white’ social dynamic, but Blacks are doing themselves no favours with their ridiculous naming protocol. It just ensures they remain at the bottom of America’s racial caste system for longer.
Incidentally, Prince’s childhood name was Skipper.