Saturday, July 19, 2008

I might be changing my last name

So, I'm thinking about changing my last name from Martinez to Daniels. Daniels is my original birth name. My father's name was Gary Daniels, but he and my mom got divorced when I was about six months old and then I was later adopted by her second husband, thereby giving me his last name of Speeks. I married way too young and thankfully divorced within a few years, but kept my married last name of Carter, to make it easier with paperwork and everything for my kids' sake (who were/are both Carter). Four years ago I married my long-time boyfriend of eight years (now together 12 years) and assumed his last name, Martinez. He is about as Hispanic as I am - it's all in the name. Well, after marrying him and changing my name, I was going through a career change and was looking for jobs. I seriously sent out about 50 resumes and never got one call from them. Given that I'm an experienced professional, I could not contribute it to my lack of experience, education or skill, the only conclusion I came to was that is was my last name. I think people read my last name on my resume and made certain assumptions - like I wouldn't be able to speak English or something.

Even though I'm not currently looking for a job, there are still repercussions for not having an "American" last name. I know we could go into the etymology of Daniels and last names, but you know what I mean. So, because I now get several mailings (junk, snail mail, and email) all written in Spanish, plus people continually asking me about my Hispanic background and/or upbringing, I'm seriously considering adopting the name I was originally given at birth. I know there will be lots of paperwork, but I'll deal with it. Plus, I also like the thought of returning to my true identity--there's something a little empowering about that. I haven't made a final decision yet, but I think I'm getting close. My name would change from Paula Renee Martinez to Paula Renee Daniels. Any thoughts?


The Sujewa said...

Martinez sounds better to me; and it's got an interesting story attached to it :)

- Sujewa

lindawashere said...

My name is Linda Burns and I get junk mail from every black publication in the country...maybe cause I worked on music videos or maybe because people are crazy.

All I know is that I'm a Nubian sister and I am beautiful.