In my “Live it Everyday” everyday post, I mentioned that I chose the African name Tafari for myself during a Kwanzaa event that I planned for the kids+ last month. Well after some very heavy hearted contemplation I decided to fully accept the name & replace my given name “Brian”.
For the last year + changing my name has been something on my mind to do and discussed with Suite Suzy but I was not really moved to do so after trying to find a fitting name that truly inspired me until late last month.
The name Tafari, really stayed penetrated my heart day by day & last Friday 01/05/07, I decided that this was the day that I would carry the name forever.
Because I was nervous big time about this big decision, I called one of my good friends and sheroes Dahia for guidance based on her experience. She basically said Tafari, now is the time so just do it! She told me that some would trip but I needed to stay strong & steadfast with my decision to do something that affected my cultural/mental/social well being positively. So after we hung up the phone it was mos def on.
I called Cousin Dee to discuss it with her & she was digging the change and understood where I was coming from & told me she was down with me no matter what. I then call Best Friend Brion & confirmed with him that I was going for it & he too was very supportive but told me that he was going to call me T-Bone then I cussed him out. BFB & I discussed this earlier in the week so he already knew what may be coming. During our initial conversation about this he asked me how the person how gave me my name would feel about it; assuming my Mama named me. I informed him that my father actually named me & that he had been dead for 5 years so I could not get his input for sometime to come when we meet at the cross roads, where a possible bitch slap may be involved.
I then told Suite Suzy and then things got interesting. She told me that she did not agree with it but she would be supportive. I was not surprised by her reaction but it was somewhat cold & expected but that has not deterred me because we have opinions & that’s where respect comes in.
Last but certainly not least, I finally got in touch with Mama after leaving a message. I told her about my decision & she asked me if I was tired of my slave name & we both cracked up laughing at that. Then she told me that she really never liked my name in the 1st place. She wanted to name me Robert Lewis and my father was bent on naming my Brian Keith so that is what she rolled with.
Now 32 years later the script has flipped & I am running my naming decision!!! LOL
So after all of the most important people were in the know I sent a notice out to all of my friends & family which read:
“Dear Family & Friends,
I am announcing that I have made the decision to change my first name, which has been something on my mind for quite a while. I have taken an African name to further celebrate and honor my African heritage, which is very important to me. With this said, my new name is Tafari, which is an Ethiopian name and means “he who inspires awe”.
Thanks and I appreciate your support!
Tafari K. Stevenson-Howard”
Back to me:
With this now totally out there, I am still a little nervous but excited. I received several responses back so far with love, support & kudos just like I did when I passively mentioned it here recently.
During my lunch break today 01/09/07 I ran to the county court to get the information so that I can do this legally & the process looks like it will take at least 3-4 months & cost me a little over 200 bucks, but it is well worth it & I am going to make this shit happen!
So that we are all on the same page & you don’t get it twisted; my alter ego/personality Bygbaby has gone nowhere & this is his blog & as always subject to get ig’nint at the drop of a dime.
What’s in a name:
Check out this Black History fact on the Ras – “Tafari” – An religion