On Having a Black Name

This blogger, a white woman, happens to have a “black” name. Result: every time she’s in contact with someone who knows her name but can’t see her, she lives out Black Like Me.

[From Daisy’s Dead Air: On having a black name]

When I did customer service, I worked with mostly black women. And we were supposed to give our names, like good customer service robots: “Thank you for calling blabbity blabbity, I’m _____, how may I help you?”

“WHAT did you say your name was?”

Here it comes.

I always repeated it, obediently. And I often heard lots of illuminating stuff after that. A few:

“Are you a n-gger?”

“Are you black? Give me someone white. I want someone who can find their ass with both hands, no offense.”

“Oh, God no.”

(to someone else in the room) “Oh guess what, guys? I’ve got ______ on the phone, and she’s gonna -solve- our problem!!!!” (room responds with hoots, hollers, boos, laughter, etc.)

“Give me someone white, and don’t argue with me about it, just do it.” (On these calls, I very much enjoyed getting the black supervisor with the British accent on the line; we both enjoyed putting one over on them. But I always made sure to tell the supervisor what was up.)