Shanice vs Caitlin

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Call me racist, but I love Black names. In my own defense, I love yuppie names too, like Hunter and Madison. But Black names give me a particular thrill, like the time I heard a mother in Ross for Less scream at her kid: “Chanel, you get over here!”

In the book Freakonomics, there is a chapter about baby names, and the effect of giving a child a “super-Black” name. The research covered 16 million births, over the last 25 years.

“The data show that, on average, a person with a distinctively black name–whether it is a woman named Imani or a man named DeShawn–does have a worse life outcome than a woman named Molly or a man named Jake. But it isn’t the fault of his or her name. If two black boys, Jake Williams and DeShawn Williams, are born in the same neighborhood and into the same familial and economic circumstances, they would likely have similar life outcomes. But the kind of parents who name their son Jake don’t tend to live in the same neighborhoods or share economic circumstances with the kind of parents who name their son DeShawn. And that’s why, on average, a boy named Jake will tend to earn more money and get more education than a boy named DeShawn. DeShawn’s name is an indicator–but not a cause–of his life path.”

Somehow, I feel this should be instinctive knowledge. But it’s an interesting subject and here is an excerpt. Here is a list of the top 20 “Blackest” and “Whitest” boys’ names (you can see the girls here) from the California data:

The 20 Whitest Boy Names

1. Jake
2. Connor
3. Tanner
4. Wyatt
5. Cody
6. Dustin
7. Luke
8. Jack
9. Scott
10. Logan
11. Cole
12. Lucas
13. Bradley
14. Jacob
15. Garrett
16. Dylan
17. Maxwell
18. Hunter
19. Brett
20. Colin

The 20 Blackest Boy Names

1. DeShawn
2. DeAndre
3. Marquis
4. Darnell
5. Terrell
6. Malik
7. Trevon
8. Tyrone
9. Willie
10. Dominique
11. Demetrius
12. Reginald
13. Jamal
14. Maurice
15. Jalen
16. Darius
17. Xavier
18. Terrance
19. Andre
20. Darryl

3 Responses to “Shanice vs Caitlin”

  1. Suebob Says:

    My friends named their kids Jack and Molly. Can you tell what race they are? Yes, very, very white.

  2. Laurabob Says:

    I smile often, snort often, but rarely ever actually laugh.I’ve been reading you all afternoon laughing out loud, and that means a lot to me, And I am delighted to realise my sister -in -really -life is here laughing too.

  3. Suebob Says:

    Laurabob- how nice to see you. I was wondering who the other commenter was. It’s a small small world.

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