Many people make fun of the apostrophes in La'Shay and Ja'Quon and say that black people are trying to sound too French or too African, or just making names up. If you've thought that, here's something else for you to think of. I can find out the name of the French knight that was my ancestor from 1096. Imagine not being able to trace more than 150 years of your family; sometimes less. Can you blame anyone for wanting to recapture their heritage by choosing names that sound like what they imagine their heritage is?
Anyway, when you're around them every day, you see obvious patterns. Not patterns I can explain, but ones I just know. For example, can you pick out the one boys' name among these? Keante, Chianti, Shonte, Javonte, and Leontae? Let me know if you have any guesses.
A funny story: we were doing a practice test (which is why I can talk about it; I can't talk about the REAL test) one year, and the kids had to infer from a diary selection whether Tad, the narrator, was a "brother, sister, father, or mother." I think the writer was assuming that since Tad was talking about a sister, and Tad was a boy's name, the kids would figure out that he was a brother. Well, half of them put sister, because they had never heard the name Tad and didn't know if it belonged to a boy or a girl. "Teacher, what kind of crazy name is this?"