Potomac Avenue: "it was very funny but in a very very risky way"
On the occasions when I've tried that, people have usually just called me an asshole and left it at that.
This is an examination of the naming practices of individuals within certain African-American communities. Drawing on Mailloux's notion of cultural rhetoric as "the political effectivity of various tropes and argument in culture," I argue that the act of naming in many African-American cultures is a response to and mockery of mainstream cultural aesthetics. Some scholars have argued that distinctly "Black" names have detrimental economic effects on African-Americans; however, I extend that conversation by offering a cultural-rhetorical approach that sees names not as arbitrary signs but "symbolic mechanisms" of power and self-determination.
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