Being Named Shenequa Doesn't Make Me Ghetto

Shenequa Golding (Courtesy of author via

Writing at Hello Beautiful, Shenequa Golding says she's most upset at African Americans who stereotype her based on a choice her mother made.

Men have approached me on the street and believed I was lying when I told them my name. "C'mon shorty. Shenequa? Look, if you not interested, cool. But don't lie to me. You NOT no Shenequa!" They'd exclaim …

My name is Shenequa. I'm black and I'm from Queens, N.Y. My mother had me when she was 16 years old and my dad wasn't really around. So, yes. I fit the urban, fatherless stereotype.

But peep this: I'm smart. I'm funny. I'm clever. I'm not anyone's baby mother or "wifey." I have a college degree. I know which fork to use at a table setting. I can properly pronounce "salmon" as opposed to the commonly mispronounced word "SAL-mon."(Who started that trend?) I know who the president of Afghanistan is. I'm chasing my dreams and I'm just the bees-knees.


Read Shenequa Golding's entire piece at Hello Beautiful.

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.

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