‘Austin’- Parent’s Named Their Daughter In White Man’s Name To Outwit Everyone!!
‘Austin Channing Brown’
‘Name’ is the first and foremost identity of a person. It tells us about one’s personality, race, caste, gender and income. Austin’s parent’s named their daughter in a white man’s name to outwit everyone and also to avoid her from failure for being a black woman. So, their daughter need not face any discrimination in any aspect of life.
While growing up, Austin’s parent’s said that her grandmother’s maiden name was Austin, and since her only brother didn’t have any children they wanted to make her the last Austin of their family.
According to Austin, white people can be exhausting especially who don’t know they are white, and those who need to be white. She grew up with these white men. The one who expects Austin to be white is more exhausting to her.
This was a small part of her real-life experience. She experienced another part while she was just seven-years-old.
At seven years age, while checking out with a pile of books, the librarian took Austin’s card for scanning. She kept waiting for the librarian to tell her the amount of fine that she was to pay. To her surprise, the librarian asked her, ‘Is this your card?’ For once, she thought that she had mixed her card with her mother’s. But, then she hesitantly replied yes.
The librarian said, ‘Are you sure?’
‘This card says Austin.’
Austin smiled and nodded, saying, ‘Yes, that’s my card.’
Again the librarian asked, ‘Are you sure this is your card?’. This time she stressed the word ‘sure’.
In exasperation, Austin replied, ‘Yes, my name is Austin, and that is my library card.’
In the end, Austin realized that the librarian was not questioning her literacy. But the librarian was also among the people who couldn’t believe my name belonged to Austin.
Then she quickly took the check-out from the librarian and went to her mother, who was in the VHS section. And there she demanded her mother why she named her daughter Austin. Her mother started in a soft and soothing voice, ‘Austin, your father and I had a tough time coming up with a name that we both liked. One of us thought to use your grandmother’s maiden name—her last name before she married your grandfather.’
But Austin already knew this, so she demanded to know the other reason. Her mother continued, ‘As we said it aloud, we loved it,’ she continued. ‘We knew that anyone who saw it before meeting you would assume you are a white man. One day you will have to apply for jobs. We just wanted to make sure you could make it to the interview.’
As days passed, she realized that her parent’s plan worked well. And also that her gender has never been an ‘issue’, but it has always been her brown skin.