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Names Have Power

June 10, 2020 Pamela Redmond
Say their names

Names have power to evoke people’s lives and inspire us to honor their memories.

That’s the message of this powerful graphic by by Archel Arindaeng (@archela), which we shared on our Instagram last week in support of Black Lives Matter.

“I want to remember these names, and learn from their stories,” commented @poseypetal2 on Instagram. “I wish I didn’t have to, but it’s where we are as a country. So yes, let’s say these names. Let’s remember them. Let’s change things because of them. Let’s create a better future to honor them.”

We couldn’t agree more. As the cofounder and CEO of Nameberry, I believe this is the moment for us — parents, name-lovers, and the media — to speak up to help change history. It’s been heartening to see so many other family-focused websites taking a stand on this important issue.

And there is a natural connection between names and the Black Lives Matter movement. You may have seen the beautiful Say Their Names graphic our friends at Babynames.com ran on their site. Like Archel Arindaeng’s graphic, it focuses our attention on the individual human lives behind the violent headlines.

 

On Instagram, Nameberry editor Sophie Kihm put together a story on the often-shameful true history of Black Names. Here are links to the studies she found:

 
 
 

 

We dedicated our newsletter this week, which was written and edited by Emma Waterhouse, to the range of excellent resources and advice from our colleagues in parenting media and the Black Lives Matter movement.  We reprint it here:

Support and Information

+ From SELF: Check out this wide-ranging list of 44 mental health resources geared towards the Black community , as well as this fantastic series shining a light on the crisis in Black maternity care in the US.

+ From Babylist: Find more excellent links and resources in this candid article about how America is failing Black parents.

+ From BLM: Access COVID-19 specific resources , including information on available aid and local services.

How You Can Take Action

+ From Parents: Read up on 11 Black and anti-racist charities to donate to now.

+ You can also donate direct to Black Lives Matter here, and add your name to BLM’s ongoing petitions here.

+ Find out how to donate for free by watching specially created YouTube videos here.

+ From Vox: Three activists discuss what it does and doesn’t mean to be a good ally, now and always.

Talking to Kids About Race and Racism 

+ From Successful Black Parenting: Age-appropriate talking tips for Black parents discussing the riots  with their children.

+ From Motherly: Actress Nicole Byer offers advice on talking to children about racism.

+ From Parents: Anti-Racism for Kids, an age-by-age guide to fighting hate.

+ From Embrace Race: 10 tips for reading picture books with children through a race-conscious lens. (And if you’re looking for suggestions, these reading lists from Embrace Race , the NY Times , and A Mighty Girl are a great place to start!)

+ Follow @theconsciouskid on Instagram (and don’t forget to support them financially if you can).

Inspiring Names from Black History

Finally, this wouldn’t be Nameberry without at least a brief foray back into names, right? 😉

The posts we’re sharing from our blog all celebrate Black Hero Names of inspiring Black figures from history – past and present, male and female, famous and often overlooked.

+ There are the trailblazers, the major Black history names who achieved great historical firsts and broke down barriers so that others could follow them.

+ There are the activists, who risked (and, too often, lost) their own lives fighting for the freedoms of others.

+ There are the artists, many of whom tackled uncomfortable, and dangerous, truths head-on in their work.

+ There are the athletes, who continue to redefine the limits of what is possible and inspire the next generation.

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say their names

About the author

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond is the cocreator and CEO of Nameberry. The coauthor of ten bestselling baby name books, Redmond is an internationally-recognized name expert, quoted and published widely in such media outlets as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Today Show,, CNN, and the BBC. Redmond is also a New York Times bestselling novelist whose books include Younger, the basis for the hit television show, and its new sequel, Older.

View all of Pamela Redmond's articles

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