‘Keisha’ Ditches Black Name, Becomes ‘Kylie’

Kansas City teen tires of being taunted by her peers and changes her name with mother's blessing.


After enduring taunts and insults about her name, a 19-year-old biracial teen decided she’d had enough.

Keisha Austin will now be forever known as Kylie Austin, the Kansas City Star reports.

Gone is the birth name given to her by her white mother because she believed it represented a strong, feminine, beautiful black woman.

“I saw it as a source of pride,” her mother said. “I wanted her to have that.”

The Kansas City, Kansas, teen also hopes that by losing her birth name, she will shed the stereotyping that feels woven into the fabric of her name.

Kylie didn’t grow up in a diverse community, so “Keisha” became a constant source of shame, she told the Kansas City Star.

The teen says her name was often mocked by peers asking if there was a “La” or a “Sha” in front of it. One teacher asked if she spelled it with a dollar sign instead of an “S,” like the singer Ke$ha.

“It’s like they assumed that I must be a certain kind of girl,” she said. “Like, my name is Keisha so they think they know something about me, and it always felt negative.”

Pop culture didn’t help the teen, considering Kendrick Lamar’s “Keisha’s Pain,” an ode to a prostitute and the struggle that comes with a life on the streets. Then there’s the double-duty effort by rapper Ca$h Out on his radio favorite, “Cashin Out,” which boast the lyrics “I’m riding with a ho named Keisha, smoking on Keisha.”