To everyone who has to say their name like 5,000 times only to have it misspelled and mispronounced and some random stranger ask you if they can just call you X instead. To all the kids whose names don’t fit in those stupid SAT fill-in-the-bubble name sections. To the people who will be turned down for jobs because their names sound too “black.” For the kids who were given English/American names to be more palatable and ease assimilation. To those who wear their names with pride or are still learning to grow into the power of each syllable they were given at birth or have claimed as their own — these poets get it. And these poems are for you.

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