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Browse over 275 African-American Girl Names and African-American Boy Names

African-American Baby Names

Name Origin Meaning Rating Fav.
AaliyahAfrican-Ame..Variant of the Hebrew Aliyah ..
AfricaAfrican-Ame..Borrowed from the name of the conti..
AndreAfrican-Ame..French form of Andrew, a name..
AntronAfrican-Ame..Modern coinage based on the name A..
AugustusAfrican-Ame..Latin name derived from augustus (g..
BauriceAfrican-Ame..Modern coinage based on the name M..
BernitaAfrican-Ame..Feminine form of Bernie, which is..
BeverleyAfrican-Ame..Transferred use of the surname deri..
BrandyAfrican-Ame..Derived from brandy, which denotes ..
BridonAfrican-Ame..Modern coinage of uncertain derivat..
CachayAfrican-Ame..Modern coinage probably based on th..
CandaceAfrican-Ame..Derived from the Latin candidus (wh..
ChaleseAfrican-Ame..Modern coinage of uncertain derivat..
ChanAfrican-Ame..Short form of any of the various na..
ChandaAfrican-Ame..Modern coinage derived from the pop..
ChandelleAfrican-Ame..Derived from the French chandelle (..
ChantalAfrican-Ame..French name derived from the Ol..
ChanterelleAfrican-Ame..French diminutive form of the Latin..
CharleneAfrican-Ame..20th-century coinage used as a femi..
CharmaineAfrican-Ame..Derived from the Old French charme ..
CharronAfrican-Ame..Modern variant of Sharon (a plain, ..
ChazminAfrican-Ame..Modern coinage probably influenced ..
CheAfrican-Ame..Modern name of uncertain derivation..
CheironAfrican-Ame..Modern variant of Sharon (a plain, ..
ChelleAfrican-Ame..Short form of names containing the ..
CheriseAfrican-Ame..Modern coinage possibly based on th..
CherylAfrican-Ame..20th-century coinage perhaps formed..
ChikaeAfrican-Ame..Perhaps from the Ibo 'Nigeria' Chik..
CinnamonAfrican-Ame..Borrowed from the name of a favored..
CleavonAfrican-Ame..Modern coinage of uncertain derivat..
CleonAfrican-Ame..Modern coinage perhaps formed as an..
ColandaAfrican-Ame..Modern coinage probably based on th..
CozetteAfrican-Ame..Modern coinage perhaps based on coz..
Da'ronAfrican-Ame..Modern coinage that is possibly a v..
DaneanAfrican-Ame..Modern coinage which possibly arose..

Description of African-American Names
African-American Baby Names
Not SURPRISINGLY, the early history of African-American names was heavily influenced by the institution of slavery, and an example of this influence can be found in the bestowal of names. More often than not, it was the owners who named the slaves, nearly always giving them names that were foreign to their country of origin. Bible names, classical names, literary names, descriptive names, and occupational names were the categories most often chosen. In other cases, names were derived from white surnames. In most cases, these early African-Americans were not given surnames. However, when two or more slaves had the same name, a second was added for identification purposes. These additions often came in the form of a parent's name or the name of the previous owner. It was also common to add a descriptive term, such as Big Jack or Young Sam. While slaves were generally given short forms of names, freed blacks often chose names in their full form, finding them more dignified and a mark of the difference in their status. Common slave names, such as Sambo and Bett, were discarded in favor of classical, more elegant names and names that were somewhat different from the standard pool in use by whites. These were generally elaborations or variations of common names, and inventions coined by the individuals. This predilection toward interesting names continues to this day. African-Americans began using coinages in the 19th century, and today this trend is on the increase. The prefixes La- and Sha- form the foundation of many invented names for both sexes. Variant forms of Sean and the female element eesha are also popular choices to build modern coinages around. Classical Latin names, such as Ulysses and Venus, continue to be well represented, and the influence of the Caribbean is manifest in the number of names found of Spanish and French origin. Many African-Americans are leading the way to cultural revivalism and are becoming more Afrocen-tric in orientation. A part of this process is seen in the naming of their children. More African names are in use than ever before, and the adoption of Muslim names is on the increase as more people reach out to embrace the religion of Islam. This chapter highlights some of the more popular names and modern coinages in use by the African-American community. If you are interested in names of African, Muslim, or Spanish origin, chapters one, nineteen, and thirty deal expressly with those names.
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