What's In A Name... Well, Everything!
By Sadaka Tehuti-Ma'at
Names and the "process of naming" have tremendous power.Part of the dominion which humankind has, on Mother Earth, is the ability toname their surroundings. This can be observed from the most remoteindigenous tribal peoples, to the most modern technological society.One of the most important and celebrated rituals of humankind is the namingof a child. It is through its name, that a child is connected to the lineage andtradition of parents, nation and faith.I was born in Baltimore, Maryland on the 5th day of March in 1951. I was thethird person in my family line to bear the name given initially to my paternalgrandfather. This name was William Henry Pinder, of noble Anglo-Saxon origin.The first and middle, are names of noble kings of England. William isGermanic in nature, derived from Wilhelm – meaning “will, desire, helmetand protection”. Thus, William is popularly defined as meaning “strongprotector”. Henry, also is of Germanic origin, derived from Heinrich andHeimlich – meaning “Home Ruler”.The last name of Pinder, as most surnames – describes the occupation orstation of the person. It is, again, Anglo-Saxon in origin as a name for anofficial who was responsible for rounding up stray animals and placing themin a pound, from an agent derivative of Middle English pind(en) ‘to shut up orenclose’.As with many persons of African descent living in America, these were thenames given to us by former slaveholders which described neither our cultureor heritage.