I hate Maya Angelou.
Okay, hate is probably a strong word, but I lost faith in her sometime back in my youth when I saw this performance on Sesame Street. I appreciate the message that we should take pride in who we are, but how dare the former Marguerite Anne Johnson sing a song about how proud she is that her name is Maya and she’s not going to change it. She already changed it! If this was a Sesame Street lesson in irony, then fine, but instead it came across to me as a lesson in hypocrisy. Names are important. There’s nothing wrong with changing one’s name, and in fact, that can be an incredibly important and powerful way of affirming identity. Marguerite-cum-Maya should understand that better than most. I’d argue the Torah understands that even better.