I guess I’m late to the discussion, but I honestly just think it’s a syrup thing. I’d no more likely name my child pop-tart or lysol or sunkist. I actually tend to forget the image on the bottle or really think about it too deeply. This may be why that syrup company still sells so well and hasn’t changed the name - the name just sounds like syrup. It’s a pretty name and if people are going to use it, and “reclaim” it from a slave era typical name… I mean, yeah, if I think about it deeply, why would they pick [name]Jemima[/name] of all names to sell syrup? It’s a friendly name. Why not a bland kind of “every person” name like [name]Mary[/name], why a slave name in the first place? If white people are so racist, how did they sell syrup with the image of a black person on it in the first place and become such a national brand success? I am just thinking abstractly.
In a lot of cases I see where a name becomes unusable, for instance, let’s go with “that’s a dog name!” is where people dig up obscure old-fashioned names that can’t ever be stylish again and put it on their dog - it’s quirky and seems safe. Then those names start to come back in style, but some are too commonly used on pets to sound serious on a person. We’re kind of prejudiced against dogs in that they aren’t good enough to be people. I know lots around here like to give their dogs names they would use on a baby if… They aren’t having any more children so use up another good name, or the name might get teased or doesn’t sound up to the certain careers, things dogs have no worries about, but people do. Then your neighbor has to cross it off their list because you had to use an interesting name and now they just think it’s “too dog.” I have no choice but to think that about [name]Daisy[/name], who was my dog, but not [name]Jessica[/name], who was my grandmother’s dog, as [name]Jessica[/name] was also a popular name for some of my friends at the time, and [name]Daisy[/name] was not used at all for people. I guess my point is that people in marketing might scoop up an interesting name if it’s their vision this name will never see the ink on a birth certificate again anyway. Like [name]Jemima[/name]. Oh, we see that it has taken a while, but people are digging the old sound of it now.
I really do not or have not considered the name [name]Jemima[/name] “too black” or “too slave.” It’s, to me, really honestly, “too syrup.” Not a euphemism. It sounds like a great name, and if I had to get into social studies here, I might also think too deeply, my next objection would be “too biblical.” A lot of biblical names are also classic names, while some sound like the bible means something to you. I don’t mind if it means something to someone else, then use those names, but if it’s a namesake I’m looking for, I personally am not looking for one in the bible. I know, since I’m not all conscious of or intimidated about causing the racial tensions by using [name]Jemima[/name], I might seem ignorant, but I would go ahead and use it if it weren’t for that it’s the name of a syrup. Now let’s go round and round again while we wonder why it’s ok to use the name [name]Ben[/name], after all, Uncle [name]Ben[/name] was a slave image too (to go with the hypothetical Uncle [name]Tom[/name] product and why [name]Tom[/name] is ok to use).
If [name]Ben[/name] is ok, then [name]Jemima[/name] is not going to upset anyone. My ex-boss, a black man from [name]Georgia[/name], named his son [name]Benjamin[/name]. I think [name]Jemima[/name] is just “weird” because everyone knows it’s syrup. It’s the “there’s only one [name]Aretha[/name]” (there is another one, I know, actually) thing that (I think it was) [name]Jill[/name] mentioned.