Parents Change 14-Month-Old Son's Name Because of Racist Connotations

to kill a mockingbirdHarper Lee's new book, Go Set a Watchman, isn't just stirring up trouble among literary circles. This novel's portrayal of her beloved character Atticus Finch as a racist (who attended a KKK meeting no less) has even prompted one set of parents who named their baby Atticus to change the name.

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David and Christen Epstein decided to change the name of their son, now 14 months, because the name no longer fit the heroic ideal they'd harbored from reading To Kill a Mockingbird.

"When the new book came out, we just felt like, this does not at all encompass the values that we want for our son to have and know," Christen explains. "And we felt like our son was young enough that we could change his name."

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Not that this transition was seamless. For one, the boy -- now named Lucas -- had already been responding to the name Atticus. Plus the boy's 3-year-old sister doesn't understand why she now must call her baby brother by a new name.

And some adults aren't too into the name change, either.

"Some people are so understanding and are like, 'I totally get why you would do that and we totally support you,'" says Christen. "Other people think it's kind of odd and weird and they're like, 'I don't think it's necessary that you're doing this.'"

For that matter, the baby name Atticus has been skyrocketing in popularity ... at least until now. But will this trend continue?

I, for one, think that name Atticus will stick around. Fine, this character's new image may not be as pristine as it was before, but that doesn't erase all the amazing things he did for African-Americans in Mockingbird, right?

Most names have their share of good and bad connotations. So, to me, going to the trouble of changing a baby's name due to one negative literary reference does seem like a lot of trouble.

 

For more great baby name ideas, visit BabyNameWizard

 

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