“Claiming the History in Family Names”

Could we belong to this country even if many of us have tongue twisting, alien names we are too proud to change? After being tired of constantly correcting confused strangers I gave up the proper accent to the first syllable of my last name together with the proud russian style "a" at the end of my french name long time ago. Now I often introduce myself as "Yvette Fedo'rova" even though the sound of this surrogate name makes me cringe and laugh.

In this week's NYTimes TIES essay, Raffi Joe Wartanian writes:

"My immigrant father thought adopting an American name was a prudent measure to avoid mispronunciations. To me it felt like admitting defeat."