Racialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations. If you've been on the blog, you know how this Tumblr works, too. Including the moderation policy.
Recent Tweets @

Not saying Quvenzhané’s name is an attempt, consciously or unconsciously, to step around and contain her blackness. Yes, sometimes black people have names that are difficult to pronounce. There aren’t many people of European descent named Shaniqua or Jamal. Names are as big a cultural marker as brown skin and kinky hair, and there’s long been backlash against both of those things (see: perms, skin bleaching creams, etc.). The insistence on not using Quvenzhané’s name is an extension of that “why aren’t you white?” backlash.

It is easier to be colorblind, to simply turn a blind eye to the differences that have torn this nation apart for centuries than it is to wade through those choppy waters. And Quvenzhané’s very existence is enough to make the societal majority uncomfortable. She is talented, successful, beautiful, happy, loved, and adored–all things that many people don’t figure that little black girls with “black” names could, or should, be. Their answer? Let’s make her more palatable. If she insists on not fitting the mold of the ghetto hoodrat associated with women with “urban” names, let’s take her own urban name away from her.

Refusing to learn how to pronounce Quvenzhané’s name says, pointedly, you are not worth the effort. The problem is not that she has an unpronounceable name, because she doesn’t. The problem is that white Hollywood, from Ryan Seacrest and his homies to the AP reporter who decided to call her “Annie” rather than her real name, doesn’t deem her as important as, say, Renee Zellwegger, or Zach Galifinakis, or Arnold Schwarzenegger, all of whom have names that are difficult to pronounce–but they manage. The message sent is this: you, young, black, female child, are not worth the time and energy it will take me to learn to spell and pronounce your name. You will be who and what I want you to be; you be be who and what makes me more comfortable. I will allow you to exist and acknowledge that existence, but only on my terms.

Brokey McPoverty, “What’s In A Name? Kind Of A Lot,” PostBourgie 2/26/13
  1. becauseithrewgasandamatchonher reblogged this from racialicious
  2. deedixon reblogged this from racialicious
  3. selfsamesies reblogged this from racialicious
  4. bigganzy reblogged this from themunchkym
  5. haveagooddaydonttellmewhattodo reblogged this from shattersthemoon
  6. puddlejumper9 reblogged this from bisexualshakespeare
  7. regularguy5mb reblogged this from cassluvsyou
  8. bisexualshakespeare reblogged this from cassluvsyou
  9. cassluvsyou reblogged this from themunchkym
  10. goodandcrazypeople reblogged this from constarrynight
  11. constarrynight reblogged this from fleaux-schmo
  12. giraffeseyeview reblogged this from queeeeeeeeeeenchef
  13. neoldsoul reblogged this from queeeeeeeeeeenchef
  14. fleaux-schmo reblogged this from queeeeeeeeeeenchef
  15. queeeeeeeeeeenchef reblogged this from 246to416
  16. thegurlwiththemostcake reblogged this from princesshotboddd
  17. all-the-fuckery reblogged this from saharradesert
  18. iammythoughts reblogged this from 246to416
  19. saharradesert reblogged this from princesshotboddd
  20. princesshotboddd reblogged this from 246to416
  21. 246to416 reblogged this from nigeah
  22. nigeah reblogged this from racialicious
  23. msmilkchocolate reblogged this from racialicious
  24. forthegiggles reblogged this from themunchkym
  25. cappuccinochugger reblogged this from artzkd
  26. artzkd reblogged this from themunchkym
  27. another23 reblogged this from themunchkym
  28. sosho-6051 reblogged this from likes-timelords
  29. sarcastic-and-irritable reblogged this from themunchkym
  30. likes-timelords reblogged this from themunchkym
  31. jordanthatblondegirl reblogged this from hopelessromantic