What’s in a Name?

In the online spiritual community, everyone knows someone who knows a person that knows someone’s cousin’s best friend’s sister that goes by a name other than their birth name.  In my case I have a few names, one is a name given to me by my parents, two names were given to me by my godfathers after my initiations, one was coined by a colleague as a term of endearment, another name is one that my children call me and the fifth name is what people who don’t like me refer to me as. I wear each name proudly as they all represent me and my unique journey.

When I navigate the strange and most times wonderful world of the online spiritual community I am often struck by the names that people create for themselves. I’m not talking about names given to those of us who have initiated into a religion and had our spiritual names divined on or those who have business names with special meaning but, those names that people think up in a moment of brilliance or ego-laced drunkenness. Names like Oshun Twerk Goddess, Papa Big G Dipstick or Cemetery Whore usually make me shake my head but, every blue moon I come across a name that makes me wonder if the person put any thought into the meaning of their chosen spiritual name. Sister Girl is one such name that has me asking the question, ‘are you serious?’.

When you step into the public arena and hang your shingle out as a rootworker, your name is a very big part of your identity. Choosing a coontastic name like Sister Girl is so deeply insulting that it takes a fair amount of time to realize that a Black woman purposely picked this name. A name that comes from a comedy about “the man” and racism. A name that stinks of the stereotypes Black women fight so hard against. Sister Girl what is you doing, I’m seriously asking?

It’s bad enough that there is a worker that thinks being referred to as a Sister Girl is some how admirable. Why would a grown woman want to refer to herself as a girl in private or in public? Then there is the darker side (pun intended) to this. A “spiritual worker” who did not believe in or understand why BLM is an important movement, who has a track record of calling legit workers for free advice and has now joined an organization in which one of the heads has made known her hatred of African Traditional Religions while profiting off of Black history and dollars this person now wants to spiritually help people. Yeah right, miss me with that bullshit Sister Girl.

Before you start questioning me and saying I am a hater, answer this questions for me, how can someone who does not understand the plight of communities of color be of spiritual assistance? How can someone with a name that is a joke or an insult, depending on the context, be taken seriously as anything? How about Sister Get Your Life Right or Sister Guide as a name instead of having a name that makes images of black-faced mammys come to mind?

Names are important, names identify and names have meaning. How a self-proclaimed spiritual worker doesn’t understand this basic concept is beyond me.

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