Is Your Name Getting in the Way of Your Dream Job?

Yesterday I came across an article on Huffington Post about a man named José Zamora, who dropped the “s” in his name to increase his chances of finding a job. Before doing so, Jose would apply for an impressive 50 to 100 jobs in a day and still receive no responses. After becoming “Joe Zamora” the replies came pouring in with potential employers asking him to give a call back.

The story did not shock me one bit. I’m not ignorant to the fact that people are often prejudiced to ethnic sounding names- whatever that means. There are many cases where D’Andre became Andrew or Keisha became Kelly in order to land their dream job.

Just recently in an interview with Improper Bostonian the star of Orange is the New Black, Uzo Aduba, shared that as a child she asked to be called “Zoe” rather than her full name Uzoamaka. Her mother refused and replied, “If they can learn to say Tchaikovsky and Michelangelo and Dostoyevsky, they can learn to say Uzoamaka.”

Why should people of various cultures and races feel ashamed or pressured to change their names? Some would say that this is America and they should assimilate to the culture, but can anyone tell me what an American name is? Anyone?


Got My Monthly MetroCard So I Know It’s Real


In the weeks leading up to my move to New York, I was repeatedly asked the same questions,

“Are you excited?”

“You ready?”

“Has it hit you yet?”

To be honest, it hadn’t. I tried to hype myself with Pinterest Boards and Sex in the City reruns, but it just did not work. For years I have been known by family and friends to not emote very well, and it perhaps caused some to believe I was apprehensive about leaving.

Here’s to a New Season

New Season

“It’s a new season, it’s a new day…”

Chris Brown was right- it’s never a right time to say goodbye. Though I’m moving back to the first place I called home, leaving my second home is not easy. New York made me, but Florida raised me.

Crazy for a native New Yorker to say, huh?

I learned some important (yet difficult) life lessons, fell in love a time or two, and gained some amazing friends here. It saddens me to leave, but I understand that it’s a new season for me. And with that comes tough decisions for a greater purpose.

Florida, it’s been real, but I have a dream that needs to become a reality. New York, here I come.

Love, Peace & Afro Grease,
Tara Pook

Introducing | The Pook Shop

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you… The Pook Shop. My new line of tees are inspired by some of my favorite posts such as “Dreamers, Be Patient” and “Thank God for Growth.”

Pook Shop

I love how we can all make a statement with just a graphic tee. Some are thought-provoking, and some are humorous. My goal is to inspire you, as well as those who may read your tee in passing.

I’m excited to share this new venture with you all. More shirts and designs are on the way, so be on the look-out!

Love, Peace & Afro Grease,
Tara Pook

Break the Rules

My sister Jessie loves listening to Christmas music all year long. Some would give her the side-eye for jamming to “Silver Bells” in the middle of summer, but I just think it’s one of those things that make her the great quirky person that she is. And to be honest, her nonstop holiday cheer inspired me to press play on one of my favorite songs, “Put One Foot In Front of the Other” from the classic animation Santa Claus is Coming to Town. In the scene, Kris Kringle encourages the Winter Warlock to change his mean ways through song. Being the quote-hoarder that I am, I especially took to the lyric: “Don’t be the rule, be the exception.”Don't Be The Rule

Fitting in is so easy these days. There’s no emphasis on creativity or invention, just imitation. Don’t be afraid to go against the grain. Some may laugh or question you, but those same people will soon be following you. There’s no room for growth in your comfort zone. It’s snug and too tight. Break free from the rules and how other’s feel you should live your life. Rules were made to be broken, weren’t they?

Love, Peace & Afro Grease,
Tara Pook