Feminist Last Naming Practices

Nontraditional Last Name Stories

Heidi Lewis

Originally Heidi Lewis contemplated keeping her natal name, Freeman, when she got married. However, factors that expanded beyond feminist reasons for maintaining her name convinced her to take her husband’s name at marriage. Due to the discrimination and social prejudices African American men face, Heidi decided that taking her husband’s name was an important social statement. It turned out that her concerns about the status of African American males overrode any feminist desires she may have had initially when considering her own last-name choices. This interesting last name story reveals the complex and multilayered influences that can affect and play a role in an individual’s decision regarding last naming practices.


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