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Showing posts from August, 2020

Marking an ‘X’: Exploring the History of Grenada’s Surnames

Despite the widespread belief that most Grenadian surnames today are derived from plantation/slave owners, many former enslaved men actually used their first (and only) names to create their family names.This is the case for a plurality of both English and French-derived surnames today.That means your surname may contain a clue to the name of your last enslaved male ancestor.A smaller percentage of Grenadian surnames, both English and French, are derived from plantation owners, and this often indicates a blood connection.Maybe we can see these surnames as more a creation of the newly freed Grenadians to establish identity, rather than something imposed upon them, as was the case in other countries.Malcolm X, the son of Grenadian Louise Langdon Norton Little (1895/6-1989), made famous the identity struggles of Black people in the diaspora when he replaced his family name of Little (or what has also been termed his “slave name”) with an ‘X’ to signify his lost or robbed African identity…