To Try Or Not To Try: Butchering Unusual Names

So which is better? Trying to say it and then totally messing it up, or asking how to pronounce my name and attempting to repeat it as correctly as possible? Nothing irks me more than those who after asking for help (more than once) in saying it then proceed to laugh loudly and nervously, throw their hands up in the air helplessly and inform me that they wouldn’t try it even if they had Rosetta Stone sounding it out phonetically for them. The sadder issue for me is that this latter crowd is often comprised of my non-immigrant Black brothers and sisters. Almost as if getting it right would reveal some residual knowledge of Africa. It leaves me speechless. If this is the case, why did you bother asking me to say it so many times for you to begin with? SMH.

Accents and Grounding

I just got back from Rhapsody’s, one of Ghana’s nightlife establishments and it was jumping or hopping, not sure which. However, except for the people in modernized versions of bright African print dresses, one couldn’t tell you were in Ghana. I felt very uncomfortable. For starters, I had on the wrong outfit—my Berkeley staples of … Continue reading Accents and Grounding