African Americans by far choose unique names. There's over 200 versions of how a parent has spelled the name "Unique" which includes: Uneqqee, Uneek, Uneque, etc. Then there are names like: Deshawn, Dhamar, Queen, Tyrone, and Uquanda as well. Before this began happening in frequency in the 80's, many African Americans had names similar to the white culture like: Billy, Mike, Thomas, etc.
One of the reasons why African Americans started using unique names was to have pride in their culture but was it a good move on their part? Did having pride in their unique identity make for a better life? According to numerous studies including one at Harvard, the answer is no.
Many human resource personnel who see these unusual names and often don’t know how to pronounce them, will discard the resumes unless the candidates have unique skill sets. Depending on the job it sometimes requires interacting with customers and it makes it difficult if a customer doesn't know how to pronounce the person's name on the name badge.
It can also be difficult understanding someone's unique name when dealing with them on the phone and being that the goal of most companies is to provide good customer relations, not bonding with the customer service agent can be a problem.
Lastly, sometimes when people have been given a special name and told to take pride in individuality, it's not what the employer is looking for because they want team members who can conform. Certainly not a problem with a company who needs creativity and individual thought, but these companies are the exception to the norm especially for someone first trying to make it into the workforce.
The bottom line is a name can matter but it isn't as important as someone's character or skills that they bring to the marketplace but after reading these reports there's no doubt in my mind that if I were an African American parent I'd think about giving my child a name that is easier to pronounce and to spell just to eliminate a potential obstacle.
Should potential employers judge people by their names, probably not but it's not illegal and they do it so why not accept it and not handicap a child with a name that could cause more harm than good?