So most bloggers and news outlets have already ran with the story of Ms. Marijuana Pepsi (Jackson) Sawyer. The accomplished woman with the odd moniker. Now is my turn. In brief, Marijuana Pepsi Jackson was the name given to this woman (Sawyer was her married name), a name a police officer almost arrested her for because he thought she was trying to pull a fast one on him. Despite her name, or maybe because of its unique character, Marijuana is a bright and successful woman. Currently, she is a teacher holding a Masters degree. She is working towards a doctorate as well. I would link to a story or two about her but honestly, I feel they’re mostly written in a condescending tone. I’ll leave you to Google her.
I really like Marijuana’s story. Over the past 3 years or so, I saw a lot of blogging and messageboard posting about so-called “ghetto” names or “Black” names. People deride the parents and forecast lives of unaccomplishment and shame for the children. I have always thought that terribly unfair because I wondered who was supposed to be the arbiter of “good” names? I also take issue with the implication that names must be close to a certain European/Western origin or else they are not worthy. Even people who choose to name their children “real” African or Arab names are laughed at because after all, ain’t they just regular ol’ Black folk? Continue reading