The Struggles of Being A Black Rebecca


I’ve always hated my name.  I was born on September 17, my grandma’s birthday, so I came into the world as her birthday present.  My mom, in turn, gave me her name.  She says it’s because she thought we would be similar, I think she was just too lazy to think of another name.

Growing up was always a struggle.  There weren’t that many black Rebeccas around in land of white Beckys.  So naturally, everyone wanted to call me Becky.

1) I HATE the nickname Becky.  The way it rolls off the tongue; the upbeat way it’s always pronounced; the nagging feeling that I’m somehow agreeing to a ‘Valley Girl’ lifestyle by adopting the pseudonym.  Let’s add Becks, Rebecks + Becca to that list as well.  Just call me Rebecca.  It’s my horrible name and I’m sticking with it.

2) It’s very irritating to try and convince other people that your name is in fact your name.   Your name is REALLY Rebecca? Trust me, of all the fake names out there I wouldn’t choose this one.

3) Rebecca is such an old lady’s name.  Biblical, yes.  Youthful? No.

But, being a black Rebecca does have its perks.

1) When I used to apply for jobs I almost always knew I’d get a call back.  My last name is Margao; I sound as culturally acceptable as they come.  I often imagined that when I walked into interviews the employer somehow felt bamboozled. Oh well.  I am living proof that an ambiguous name opens doors.

2) My professional voice matches my name.  I’m expected to “talk white.”  My name is Rebecca after all.

Over time I’ve come to appreciate my name.  And I’m pretty much a clone of my grandmother so I think my mom was accurate in giving me her name.

This blog was really meant to share my experiences, and my skills, and my portfolio, because I’ve seriously lived 20 lives.  And I’d like to think that my life is pretty damn entertaining.

More importantly, I want to reach other “Black Rebeccas,” because what’s in a name anyway?


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