The “star-crossed lovers” of Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet bear the names “Montague” and “Capulet,” which identify them with opposing sides of a family feud. In that context, the rhetorical question highlighted in the title of this chapter may serve as a reminder that, indeed, names matter a lot. A rose called by a different name might smell sweet right on, but the fabled flower might not appreciate what African Americans refer to as being “called out of its name.”
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