A young woman who goes by Kadia on TikTok just became the subject of conversation over a decision she made to reclaim her time during her graduation ceremony. Kadia was allegedly cut off while speaking during graduation and was determined to get the microphone back to finish.
In a video posted on TikTok which later made rounds on Twitter, Spears can be seen trying to grab a microphone from the hands of an older white woman, who appears to be a school administrator. The struggle continues for a while during which Spears can be heard saying “I want the mic. Let go …”
When Spears eventually got ahold of the mic, she went to address the attendees at the graduation ceremony, saying, “You didn’t let me get my moment.” After mentioning her name, she said ”I’m graduating today. I don’t like how you snatched the mic out of my hand, so today is going to be all about me.”
In an explanatory video she posted on her TikTok page, Kadia shared that the school admin had been cutting off some of the Black graduates who were announcing their names and majors before her.
“The people that went before me and everything they all got to say their name, their major and even extras. And I and another girl noticed that she was putting the mic super fast for some Black people,” she said.
Kadia explained that she didn’t get to finish saying her name, which she says is long before she was abruptly cut off. She shared that her name has three syllables but refused to share exactly what her name is.
The Name Problem
Black people have historically had to deal with not having their names pronounced correctly or sometimes shortened without permission. As Myles Durkee, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Michigan tells the BBC, “Micro-assaults are much more explicit, intentional forms of discrimination or disrespect. Strategically mispronouncing someone’s name is a way of othering someone.”
In Kadia’s case, the refusal to be given the opportunity to fully say her name, as she alleges, adds to the ongoing conversation. But as she says, “I just felt like I had to reclaim my moment.”