My mama named me Cynthia Joye. And there was a time in my life that I didn’t like it.
The first time I became curious about my name was when I saw it referenced in Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. Cynthia is another name given to Artemis, Greek goddess of the moon. In the Greek, it is said “Kynthia”, which means “woman from Kynthos”. Kynthos was the place where Artemis and her twin brother, Apollo were born. Makes sense, huh?
So, through the years, as I’ve found pictures and poems that have to do with my name, they usually follow the trail of that history and say something about “giving light in the darkness of night” – cuz that’s what the moon does.
But that’s not why my mama gave me that name.
When I was in the 7th grade, I had a science teacher named Mrs. Sartain. She found it fun to call me “Cindy-Mae” in class, my mama hated it. I remember my mama standing in the kitchen, stomping her foot and pointing the spatula at me, saying “I DID NOT NAME YOU CINDY!” And a story followed, concerning another family member – distant family member – named Cindy who took pride in the fact that I was named after her, when in fact my mama did not name me after her.
When I was in the 1oth grade, I had a friend who would call me “Synitra”. She said that she could call me “Cynthia” for hours and I would never answer her but if she called me by my “black girl name” (as she called it), I would answer immediately. My mama didn’t like that either.
So, I finally got the story of why I was named Cynthia.
My mom was in elementary school when the school she went to was integrated during the Civil Rights movement. One of the first black girls that she was in class with and got to be friends with was named Cynthia.
As for my middle name… it’s not hard to know the definition of “Joy”. It’s a fruit of the spirit. Yes it has an “e” on the end. It’s a family name – my mom’s mom’s maiden name. It took some time, but it grew on me…enough so that I kept it as my middle name when I got married.
So, there you have it!
That’s my name…