Author: Brenda Hodges
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Though she has composed poetry for many years, and has participated in small poetry readings from Philadelphia to Atlanta, it is only recently that Brenda decided to submit her poetry for the consumption of a wider audience.
...by any other name
I met a man at the bus stop the other day. He smiled and told me how much he admired my dreadlocks, then he asked my name. I said, "My name is Sophia," and he twisted his face into a strange position before saying, "But that's your slave name. I mean what's your African name. You look like a Zimbabwe or a Kenya, or something like that. Don't you know that you're a beautiful African. A black queen who deserves to have a name that expresses just how beautiful and special she is," he stated. I looked at him for a long moment, tilting my head to one side, while configuring my response. "With all due respect, sir, I like my name. It's been a part of who I am for twenty-eight years. My daddy gave me this name. It was my great grandmother's name and the name of his little sister who died when she was three. It came from a branch of my family tree. My parents took great care in naming me, and while I understand your way of thinking, for myself I must disagree. I am indeed a black woman, and calling myself Somalia or Nigeria or Botswana won't make me blacker. It's a matter of preference. A personal kind of thing, you see. I thank you for your kind concern, but I know who I am. I'm Sophia Lorraine Jones, daughter and African princess of Robert Eugene Jones, and I'm proud to be."