For new parents, choosing a name for their baby is one of the rare joys that only comes around once per child. Since 1996, BabyNames.com has made itself an essential part of that process for parents worldwide by providing baby name ideas as well as meanings. This week, however, the popular website is using its platform to bring attention to more somber matters. With protests continuing over the killing of George Floyd, BabyNames.com is showing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement with a powerful statement on its front page.
Visitors to BabyNames.com this week won’t see the usual name rankings and baby pictures at the top of the home page. Instead, they will see a large black box filled with names. Here is the actual image that ran on the website.
“Each one of these names was somebody’s baby,” a caption at the top reads. The names listed are those of black people who have died either at the hands of police or fellow citizens. Beginning with Emmett Till, a 14-year-old boy who was infamously lynched in 1955, the list features dozens of names from the past decades, ending with George Floyd.
“BabyNames.com stands in solidarity with the black community,” reads a statement at the bottom.
“I saw the names listed on NPR, and they broke my heart,” site founder Jennifer Moss told HuffPost. “I knew then I wanted to include them in our company’s statement. I am a parent, and it just came from my heart.”
Powerful stuff. All parents give deep and loving thought to their baby’s name. They never imagine seeing it on a tombstone or a headline about victims of police violence. They were all someone’s baby. https://t.co/cI6cWDZXeI— Barb McQuade (@BarbMcQuade) June 9, 2020
A Powerful Gesture
CNN notes that the banner is one of many examples of corporate entities pledging support to the Black Lives Matter movement. However, while gestures from the NFL and Facebook have been criticized as too little, too late, Moss says the response to her site’s banner has been “99.9% love,” adding that the company was “so grateful and humbled” by the feedback.
ok baby names dot com go off pic.twitter.com/4jkDQHKsDP— bij (@bijanstephen) June 9, 2020
The site’s message has since gone viral on social media, with some tweets currently holding upwards of 800 thousand likes.
“My goal was to make people understand that they aren’t just names,” Moss said. “They are human beings and were loved.”