What Are Common African American Names?
What are common African American names?
It’s a question many parents ask when deciding on a name for their baby. It’s important to choose a name that not only represents your child, but also has meaning and significance to you as a family. Choosing the right name is an essential part of creating a strong identity for your child and setting the foundation to build their future on.
When looking for inspiration, look to popular Black names that stand out from the crowd or ones that have a strong meaning that’s meaningful to your family. You’ll find a wide selection of unique African American names that are perfect for your baby boy or girl.
Originally, most African Americans were given European names that were either created or recreated during enslavement. This was because the vast majority of the African population were brought to the Americas by the Europeans as slaves.
The names given to Africans in enslavement were mostly English and Dutch, with some French. Until the nineteenth century, these European names were the norm in the United States. During the 1800s, however, the practice of giving children African names began to take hold and became an integral part of the American culture.
As time passed, African Americans began to become interested in tracing their roots and becoming more involved in the African community. This interest in tracing their heritage, which had previously been neglected, also led to the introduction of new and different types of names.
These new and distinct names were often influenced by music, and a desire for parents to create unique and creative names that reflected the unique characteristics of their children. The 1960s Civil Rights Movement was a big factor in this trend. It was during this time that African American musicians and artists started to embrace the sound of their own music. This resulted in the creation of new and unique African American names.
In addition, the Black Power movement emphasized a separatist strain of thought in the African American community. This paved the way for more racially empowering, unique names that celebrated the African and West Indie roots of Black people.
One of the most common examples of this trend is Kizzy, which was named after a character in Alex Haley’s book, “Roots” and was introduced into mainstream popular culture in 1977. According to Harvard sociologist Stanley Lieberson, the name skyrocketed from obscurity to become the 17th most popular name for black girls in Illinois in 1977.
Other unique Black American names emerged from a mix of creativity, cultural influences and dreams for better lives for their children. This resulted in the creation of names like Lakesha, Swantezza, Johntae, Rashawn, and Shaquan. These unique African American names aren’t what you might think, and they’re not “ghetto” or “black-sounding.” They’re distinctly Black and unique.
Other notable African American names include Denzel, Destiny, Diamond, Elijah, Ethan and Ezrah. These names are all from a variety of origins and have their own individual meaning. For example, Destiny is a name that means ‘ordained path’ and Diamond means ‘precious’. These names are all very different from the traditional African American names that most parents have in mind when naming their babies.